Homes.com & ForRent.com Q4 “State of the Rental Market” Report

by Nicole SelvaggiJanuary 23, 2013

Homes.com and ForRent.com once again experienced a considerable growth in rental searches for this most recent quarter!  Consumer search trends that were analyzed from Q4, 2011 to Q4, 2012 reveal an overall increase in searches for rental properties on both sites combined by almost 44 percent.  Even with slight improvements in the home buying market, many are still considering the option to rent.

The top 10 cities displaying the largest increases in homes “for rent” searches from Q4, 2011 to Q4, 2012:

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  1. Columbia, SC – 332%
  2. Charleston, SC – 251%
  3. Jacksonville, FL – 242%
  4. Charlotte, NC – 241%
  5. New York, NY – 236%
  6. Phoenix, AZ – 235%
  7. Detroit, MI – 233%
  8. Brooklyn, NY – 231%
  9. Austin, TX – 231%
  10. Anaheim, CA – 229%

Columbia, SC, a city that also appears in the most recent Q4 “State of the Housing Market” report, leads with the highest growth in rental searches this quarter with an increase of a whopping 332 percent. This city was previously ranked #2 in rental searches from the Q3 “State of the Rental Market” report and, according to HUD’s Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis in 2011, the rental market in this city was considered “soft,” with an estimated overall rental vacancy rate of 10 percent. However, the analysis also states that “despite weak rental housing market conditions, the construction of multifamily units increased.” It seems that an increase in available housing could be the reason for the increased search activity.

Like Columbia, Charlotte, NC, ranks among the top cities for the home buying market in Q4 in addition to this rental market list. With both an increase in searches for rental properties and homes for sale, these areas could soon receive an overall growth in population.

According to our most recent Renting ‘Round the U.S. infographicPhoenix, AZ (ranked #6 with a 235 percent increase in rental searches) and Austin, TX (ranked #9 with a 231 percent increase,) have relatively affordable rental markets. This could be what is boosting the increase in searches for these areas.

From this report, it appears that there is some significant crossover in highly sought after areas for both the rental and home buying markets. This may indicate a general interest in living in these areas, with potential residents strongly considering both renting and owning. At Homes.com and ForRent.com, we understand that finding a place to call home is an important decision. So when you’re faced with the option to rent vs. buy, we have you covered every step of the way.

View the complete list of top 100 searched cities here:

Q4-State-of-the-Rental-Market-Top-100-List1 Q4-State-of-the-Rental-Market-Top-100-List2Data represents the top 100 searched cities on Homes.com and ForRent.com, as reported from Adobe SiteCatalyst, which are then ranked according to their percent increase.

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Nicole Selvaggi

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