“The survey says” examines various rankings and dashboards judging geographic locations while noting that these ratings are best viewed as a mixture of astute interpretation and data.
Buzz: Forget what the owner asks you, the first headache is to find a vacant home. And five California markets have been ranked among the 20 hardest places to find an apartment in the country.
Source: Reviewing my trusty spreadsheet of a RentCafe report on the nation’s most competitive apartment markets, based on data from major rental complexes for the first half of 2022. The rental search challenges tracked for major apartment markets were what is available (vacancy rate); how long the units have been empty; interest of tenants (prospects per dwelling); tenants staying on site (renewal rate); and new construction in proportion to the available supply.
Here are the Golden State markets that made this apartment seeker’s list of nightmares…
Orange County #11: The 2.5% vacancy rate is bad enough for an apartment seeker, but a typical empty unit only stays vacant for 31 days and attracts 20 prospects. This is why 60% of tenants choose to renew their lease. And new construction only adds 0.2% to what’s on the market.
Central Valley No. 14: 2.4% vacancy with empty units 32 days; 16 leads per unit; 49% of tenants renew; no new offer.
No. 16 San Diego: 2.8% vacancy with empty units 31 days; 24 leads per unit; 52% of tenants renew; 0.7% new supply.
No. 19 Inland Empire: 3% vacancy with empty units 37 days; 21 leads per unit; 53% of tenants renew; 0.1% new supply.
#20 East Los Angeles County: 2.5% vacancy with empty units 35 days; 27 leads per unit; 41% of tenants renew; 0.7% new supply.
Here’s the leasing challenge in the six other California markets tracked, in order of their leasing difficulty…
Sacrament: 3.5% vacancy with empty units 38 days; 16 leads per unit; 54% of tenants renew; no new offer.
North LA/Ventura County: 3.2% vacancy with empty units 39 days; 16 leads per unit; 47% of tenants renew; 0.3% new supply.
Silicon Valley: 4.4% vacancy with empty units 35 days; 15 leads per unit; 48% of tenants renew; 0.3% new supply.
East Bay: 4.4% vacancy with empty units 39 days; 14 leads per unit; 42% of tenants renew; 0.5% new supply.
West Los Angeles County: 4.4% vacancy with empty units 38 days; 16 leads per unit; 35% of tenants renew; 1.3% new supply.
San Francisco Peninsula/North Bay: 6.9% vacancy with empty units 41 days; 8 leads per unit; 44% of tenants renew; 0.5% new supply.
At the end of the line
Is it hard for Golden State tenants? Consider how these 11 California markets compare to the challenges of finding apartments across the country.
The San Francisco Peninsula/North Bay market was the only location in the state with a vacancy rate above the US average of 4.5%. It was also the only market with fewer leads per unit than the 14 found nationally.
And only Western Los Angeles County had new construction as a larger share of available rentals than the US norm of 0.7%.
Yes, six of the 11 markets had unrented accommodation for more than the national 35-day rate.
Still, Californians found a new place more often than average. No government contract exceeded the national renewal rate of 62%.
Ten most difficult places in the United States to find an apartment, according to this calculation?
Miami was No. 1, followed by Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Orlando, Southwest Florida, Northern New Jersey, Grand Rapids, Mich., Rochester, NY, Central New Jersey, Milwaukee and Broward County, Florida.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at [email protected]