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Salt Lake City emerges as the most competitive large rental market in the West this season

Salt Lake City—Salt Lake City emerged as the most competitive rental market in the West—and in Utah. It ranked 34th nationwide, despite a softening in its competitivity compared to the same time last year. As the rental season gains momentum, apartment hunters are once again facing fierce competition in America’s hottest renting spots. 

Transplants from the North — mostly remote workers of all ages and ultra wealthy newcomers — are flocking to Florida in search of jobs and better lifestyles. As a result, Miami reemerged as the nation’s most competitive rental market this season, surpassing North Jersey, which fell to second place. Not to be outdone, Southwest Florida comes in third place and Broward County lands in fourth.

But what other options are there for renters looking for apartments that suit their needs as the search for new rentals is heating up?

To find out, RentCafe.com’s newest competitivity report analyzed 137 rental markets to identify America’s most competitive rental spots, using five key indicators: the number of days apartments were vacant; the share of apartments that were occupied; the number of renters applying for the same apartment; the share of renters renewing their leases; and the share of new apartments completed.

Based on these metrics, RentCafe.com calculated a Rental Competitivity Index (RCI), which shows how competitive each rental market is this rental season.

Salt Lake City emerged as the most competitive rental market in the West— and in Utah. It ranked 34th nationwide, despite a softening in its competitivity compared to the same time last year.

An apartment seeker in Salt Lake City has to compete with 10 others to secure a lease here. That’s slightly above the national average of 9 prospective renters applying for the same vacant apartment.

Moreover, Salt Lake City is still far from meeting the growing demand for rental units, despite a 0.61% uptick in recently constructed apartments. That’s significantly less than one year ago, when the local supply of housing increased by 0.94%.

As a consequence, prospective renters have very limited options to choose from, especially as nearly 54% of apartment dwellers chose to renew their leases this rental season, slightly below the national benchmark of 59.7%. This indicates that almost half of renters are actively seeking a new place to call home in the area — but still the 54% share of those who stayed put is high enough to make the market competitive.

Adding fuel to the fire, 94.4% of existing apartments throughout the city are already occupied. That’s almost on par with the national occupancy rate of 94%.

Under these tight circumstances, rental apartments in Salt Lake City get filled within 40 days, which is three days faster than the national average.

Despite a slight softening in Salt Lake City’s rental market competitivity compared to this time last year, it remains one of America’s hottest large rental markets, boasting a Rental Competitivity Index (RCI) score of 64. To put this into context, the national RCI score is 60, indicating a competitive rental market this season. That said, Salt Lake City is more competitive this rental season than other renter hubs in the West such as Denver, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.