50 Most Competitive Rental Markets in 2021

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The nation’s hottest rental market in 2021: Eugene, Ore., according to a new end-of-the-year report from RentCafe. The city has been attracting new residents and boasts a rapidly growing tech sector. San Diego, Calif., and Knoxville, Tenn., were number two and number three on RentCafe’s list.

In 2021, the most competitive rental markets tended to be smaller metros that are within close proximity to nature and allow for a more affordable lifestyle, researchers note. Smaller towns are attracting newcomers who are moving away from densely populated metros ever since the pandemic began, RentCafe notes.

To rank the hottest rental markets, RentCafe evaluated 105 markets to measure competitiveness by looking at the number of days rentals were vacant, the percentage of apartments occupied, number of renters competing for vacant apartments, and rental applicants’ average credit scores. In Knoxville, vacant apartments are getting snatched up in less than 20 days.