Seattle, Tacoma popular among renters this year

by Lindsey Wells

Seattle and Tacoma were among the top 50 most competitive rental markets in 2021, according to a year-end report from RentCafé.

Metropolitan areas within close proximity of nature were in high demand the past year as the pandemic lingered on and people opted for locations that could accommodate the need for ample living spaces and easy access to outdoor attractions. 

Small metro areas with affordable lifestyles were attractive for new residents relocating from densely populated metros with higher home prices.

To determine the hottest rental markets in 2021, RentCafé looked at the 105 largest markets in the U.S. where data was available for the most revealing metrics in terms of competitiveness, including the number of days rentals were vacant, the percentage of apartments that were occupied, the number of renters competing for vacant apartments and rental applicants’ average credit scores.

Tacoma ranked No. 8 on the Top 50 list of the most competitive rental markets this year, while Seattle ranked No. 35.

Overall, the report found that Eugene, Oregon, was the most competitive rental market in 2021. 

On a national level, apartments that became vacant were filled within 28 days on average. During the same time period, 95.4% of total rentals were occupied, with an average of 14 prospective renters competing for a vacant apartment, according to the release. 

More renters with better credit scores were competing for apartments this year. The average credit score of rental applicants in the U.S. was 640, slightly higher than last year’s average score of 638. 

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