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Rental trends: Queens climbs to the top of the US rankings

As listing views nearly tripled, renters added 127 percent more properties to their favourites.

Families in Manhattan (skyline seen from Brooklyn on August 2, 2022) spend some 55 percent of their income on rent. — © AFP
Families in Manhattan (skyline seen from Brooklyn on August 2, 2022) spend some 55 percent of their income on rent. — © AFP

In the U.S., the rental sector continue to thrive with property prices meaning that few people can afford to purchase dwellings. Some areas are more popular than others and trends rise and fall.

So where are renters headed this fall? An updated survey – the Rental Activity Report  – provides insights into the shifts in renters’ preferences. This has been compiled by the website RentCafe.com and shared with Digital Journal.

For this recurring report, the company has analysed the key factors that reflect both the rental context and renters’ interest in each city during the month, including:

  • How many apartments were available.
  • How the renter search volume changed year-over-year.
  • How many personalized searches were saved by renters.
  • How many apartments were marked as favourites.

In October 2023, apartments in Queens, New York, were the most sought-after by renters, outshining other popular areas like Arlington, VA, and Kansas City, MO. This rise is highlighted by a stark 72 percent year-over-year decline in available listings in Queens, the sharpest decrease among 150 U.S. cities.

Heavy smog covers the skylines of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York on June 7, 2023
Heavy smog covers the skylines of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York on June 7, 2023 – Copyright AFP/File Ed JONES

As listing views nearly tripled, renters added 127 percent more properties to their favourites and saved 19 percent more personalized searches year-over-year.

The largest Kansas City suburb, Overland Park, climbed to the second placed spot. Renters in cities like Kansas City, MO; Chicago; Kansas City, KS; and Denver showed the strongest interest in Overland Park, which saw an 85 percent surge in listing traffic and an 8 percent dip in available rentals year-over-year.

Notably, renters marked five times more apartments as favourites, the most substantial growth among analysed cities, while saved personalized searches grew by 50 percent.

Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) was in the top spot lead in May and June; this area is now in third place This month, renters’ interest mostly flowed in from Chicago, Denver, and Dallas. Year-over-year, KCMO listing traffic doubled, and apartments marked as favourites surged by 169 percent, highlighting the city’s desirability among the Midwest’s rental hotspots. Interestingly, renters also saved 122 percent more personalized searches, like “pet-friendly apartments” — that’s the steepest increase among the 150 cities in our study.

Minneapolis comes in fourth, confirming the Midwest’s growing popularity. Most seekers come from the Twin Cities area, but interest also stems from renters in Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis. So, the pent-up demand prompted a 21 percent year-over-year decrease in available units, with listing traffic doubling compared to last October. Additionally, renters favourited 16 percent more properties and ramped up saved searches by 42 percent, catapulting Minneapolis three spots since last month.

Securing the fifth spot, Atlanta stands as October’s premier Southern city for rental activity. This achievement highlights its seventh month in the nation’s top 10 since its debut at #1 in April. Renters, especially those from urban giants like Chicago, NYC, and Miami, are increasingly drawn to Atlanta. Even though there were only slight year-over-year changes in traffic, robust engagement rates have helped to solidify Atlanta’s relatively high ranking.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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