Real Estate

Renters Are on the Move. Where Are They Going?

As climbing interest rates, low inventory and sky-high prices push more frustrated home buyers into the rental market, rents are naturally rising too, forcing many to flee areas that have become too expensive.

A new study by Rent.com examined renter migration by analyzing user activity on its platform in July, August and September, aiming to find the metros with the greatest share of inbound rental interest compared with outbound interest. (A user was considered interested in a listing if they provided contact information to the home’s landlord or broker via rent.com.)

The study found that during the third quarter of the year — as it had been during the first and second quarters — the South was the most popular region of the country among renters trying to move. Biloxi, Miss., and Huntsville, Ala., had the highest share of inbound rental interest among all metros. The next most popular region was the Midwest, with Madison, Wis., the third most popular metro among lease seekers, and Toledo, Ohio, and Springfield, Mo., among the top 10 metros based on inbound interest.

The Northeast region, by contrast, had the highest share of renters looking to leave their metros, helped by plenty of priced-out New Yorkers. But on the metro level, Chicago and Traverse City, Mich., had the highest share of outbound searches.

When the research drilled deeper in a particular region, migration often became more nuanced. For example, despite the flow away from the Northeastern metros, in New Jersey there were more than twice as many inbound searches than outbound, though most were from other metros within the state. Metros in Illinois, New York and Maine had the most outbound activity, but in all three cases, most renters wanted to stay in their home state.

This week’s chart shows the metros with the highest share of inbound rental migration and those with the lowest.

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