Finding a rental unit in central Pennsylvania is no joke.
The region, which makes up Dauphin, Cumberland, Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties, is the most competitive small rental markets in the nation, according to one report.
National online rental website Rent Cafe said those searching for rentals are faced with challenges finding suitable places due to slow apartment construction and consistently high occupancy rates.
The study found zero new apartments recently were built in central Pa., pushing the occupancy rate to 97%. As a result, Rent Cafe said less than 4% of units were available, meaning 16 people were competing for the same vacant unit.
According to the study, apartments here are rented within 34 days, about three days faster than the national average of 37 days. What’s happening here follows a national trend.
“Many small cities in the Northeast have seen an influx of new residents in recent years. This is mostly due to the rising costs of living in major hubs in the region and elsewhere in the country, as well as the availability of remote work and solid student enrollment,” Rent Cafe said.
The population shift, it added is putting pressure on undersupplied smaller markets, making it difficult to find an apartment during the busiest months for renting.
Following right behind central Pa., the Fayetteville, Arkansas market ranks as the second most competitive small market, with 0.7% of new rental units barely making a dent in supply.
As for bigger markets, Rent Cafe called Miami-Dade in Florida the most competitive rental market in the nation, while the Midwest is considered the hottest region due to several major companies having expanded or relocated to that part of the country in recent years.