Hapco Philadelphia just got RentCafe.com’s new 2023 Year-End Report, which looks at the most competitive rental markets in the U.S. this year.

Many rental markets analyzed in their report showed signs of softening in 2023, with fewer renters competing for each available rental or apartments staying vacant for longer.

Philadelphia also experienced these shifts but remained competitive with 9 prospective renters per vacant unit and a higher-than-average lease renewal rate. Competition in the suburbs was even fiercer, ranking 8th in demand in 2023, while Philadelphia made it to 33rd place out of the 139 markets analyzed.

Here are the metrics that contributed to Philadelphia’s and Suburban Philadelphia’s rankings:

  • In 2023, 9 prospective renters competed for each vacant apartment in Philadelphia this year, on par with the national average. In the suburbs, however, this number stretched to 11 people per vacant unit.
  • To make apartment hunting more challenging, 65.6% of apartment dwellers in Philadelphia, and 75.4% in Suburban Philadelphia renewed their leases. In both cases, the percentage of renters choosing to stay put surpassed the national benchmark of 60.2% in lease renewals.
  • While in Philadelphia proper the occupancy rate stabilized at 92.6%, in the suburbs it has reached 94.7%, slightly higher than the U.S. average occupancy rate of 94%. 
  • The modest rise in new apartments built this year further kept Philadelphia competitive. The metro added 1.15% more units to its inventory in 2023 (compared to the national 1.89%), clearly not enough to meet the growing demand. Suburban Philly has seen an even lower share of new units this year, at 0.90%
  • Consequently, apartments in both markets stayed empty for 41 days before welcoming new renters. For context, the average American apartment got filled in 38 days. 
  • What about PittsburghEach vacant apartment here attracted prospective rentersespecially as 65.9% of apartment dwellers renewed their leases, pushing occupancy rate to 94.1%. Moreover, this market has seen a mere 0.24% increase in recently built units, not offering enough rental options for apartment hunters. Thus, apartments got occupied in 39 days, on average.

To identify the hottest rental areas of the year, we analyzed Yardi Systems apartment data for 139 rental markets based on occupancy rates, the number of renters applying for an available unit, vacancy days, the percentage of renewed leases, and the share of new apartments. Based on these metrics, we then calculated a Rental Competitivity Index (RCI) score, which shows how competitive the rental market was in 2023.

Find out how Philadelphia compares to other in-demand rental markets nationwide by reading our full 2023 Year-End Report: 

See Where Philly Ranks

And if you want to see what renters are looking at to get the best value for their money check out RentCafe's recent study on apartment space, showing what $1,700 can get them in Philadelphia.