While Philadelphia’s rental market is in the Top 50 for competitiveness, it got beat out by the suburbs, according to a new survey by RentCafe.

The report looks at the country’s most competitive rental markets during the peak rental season. For this, their report analyzed 139 U.S. rental markets using metrics like occupancy rates, the number of renters per vacant units, and lease renewal rates.

The City of Brotherly Love ranked 35th among all markets analyzedway lower than Suburban Philadelphia, which made it into the top 10 (7th place). Despite this difference in ranking, both markets share some similarities in metrics and present challenges for renters in finding available rentals.


Here are some key points from the report:

  • In Philadelphia, 10 prospective renters competed for the same vacant apartment in peak rental season, with 63% of renters choosing to stay put.
  • Meanwhile, iSuburban Philadelphiaan average of 12 people applied for each available apartmentMore so, an impressive share of 76% of apartment-dwellers in the area chose not to move.
  • Both markets experienced limited housing supply, with very few new apartments added recently in Philly (0.06% uptick in supply) and Suburban Philly (0.03% increase)
  • This has kept the occupancy rate high in the suburbs (94.8%)while less than 8% of the apartments in the City of Brotherly Love were available (92.7% occupancy rate).
  • Given these circumstances, apartments flew off the market in 40 days in both rental hubs.
  • What about other Pennsylvania cities? Harrisburg took the crown as the most competitive small rental market during this peak season, boasting a 75% lease renewal rate amid no new apartments completed recentlyLehigh Valley followed on 6th place on our list of small markets. Here, limited supply and a staggering 79% lease renewal rate led to 18 applicants competing for each available rental.
  • On a national scale, the rental market was moderately competitive in peak rental season, scoring a Rental Competitivity Index (RCI) score of 60. By contrast, Suburban Philly boasts an impressive RCI score of 100.