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Tracking multifamily rental demand

Sept. 2023 

Multifamily rental demand has become a hot topic in commercial real estate, as rising interest rates have pushed many would-be home buyers to the sidelines — and into the already crowded rental market. As multifamily developers plan for life beyond the current economic uncertainty, they are closely tracking population trends. Where are the renters going next?

A recent RentCafe report notes that, for the third consecutive month, Arlington, Va., is the most popular market searched on their website. This market has become a draw for people wanting to live in or near the nation’s capital or work in Baltimore. Among the selling points are strong amenities and job prospects and the charm of Arlington’s vintage neighborhoods. The market also offers proximity to top tier educational venues, such as Georgetown and George Washington universities.

The rest of the Top 10 rankings cover a wide spectrum, from the Midwest to two New York City boroughs to Cincinnati and Albuquerque.

Mortgage lending declines

According to National Mortgage Professional, the volume of residential loans dropped to 1.25 million in the first quarter of 2023, down 19% from the previous quarter and the fewest since late 2000. This marks the eighth consecutive quarterly decline, as higher interest rates pushed many buyers to the sidelines. Loans for both purchases and refinancing declined 85% year-over-year.

Here’s the Top 10 list of the most searched markets, as measured by RentCafe.

  1. Arlington, VA
  2. Kansas City, MO
  3. Queens, NY
  4. Overland Park, KS
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. The Bronx, NY
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Cincinnati, OH
  9. Albuquerque, NM
  10. Omaha, NE