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Study: Grand Rapids is 6th most competitive renter market in US

Grand Rapids has continued to be one of the most competitive renter's markets in the country, beating out the likes of Orange County, CA and Suburban Chicago, IL.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For every apartment rental unit in Grand Rapids, there are 18 people competing for that space, according to a new study by RentCafe.

This makes Grand Rapids the hottest rental market in the Midwest and the sixth most sought-after rental market in the United States, according to the study.

"The rental market in general, across the nation, has been very robust," Yardi Matrix Manager of Business Intelligence Doug Ressler says.

Our area has climbed up in the ranking over the last six months, and experts say they don't expect it to slow down anytime soon.

The occupancy rate for apartments in the city is nearly 97%, beating out all but a handful of other cities in the country.

The study also shows that Grand Rapids has a very small amount of new apartments being built in the area, with only 0.3% of the entire apartment market newly constructed in 2022. The national average for the share of newly constructed apartments is 0.7% of the market.

"It really gets back to supply and demand, how much supply is being built to meet that demand? Whether it be to-own homes, single family rents, or build-to-rent, and right now, the demand is growing exponentially greater than the supply can fulfill," Ressler says.

Ressler says the demand for apartments is sky high in this market, which includes the Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Holland areas.

The average number of days an apartment is vacant in this market is only 32. The national average for apartment vacancy is 35 days.

"You have increased demand, and less time on the market for vacant apartments," Ressler says.

The West Michigan area joins larger cities from across the country in the top ten ranking, but Ressler says size doesn't matter.

"One of the things that Grand Rapids really does have, though, in terms of advantages is the fact of cost cost of living is much lower than in urban cores," he says. 

Ressler recommends that prospective renters do their research well ahead of time to get ahead of the curve while apartment hunting.

10 Most Competitive Rental Markets In 2022

  1. Miami-Dade County, FL
  2. Harrisburg, PA
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. Southwest Florida, FL
  5. North Jersey, NJ
  6. Grand Rapids, MI
  7. Rochester, NY
  8. Central Jersey, NJ
  9. Milwaukee, WI
  10. Broward County, FL

According to RentCafe's explanation of methodology used for the study, "To compile this report, RentCafe.com’s research team analyzed Yardi Systems apartment data across 102 rental markets in the U.S. the data comes directly from market-rate large-scale multifamily properties of 50 units and more. Fully affordable multifamily properties have been excluded."

Read more about the methodology and see the rest of the study results here.

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