Miami Remains Nation’s Hottest Apartment Market, Study Finds

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Miami’s multifamily market was the most competitive in the nation in 2023, according to a new report by apartment search site RentCafe, repeating its first-place finish from 2022.

While an apartment building boom stands to make Miami’s rental market more favorable for tenants in the next year or two, demand for apartments still far outpaces supply.

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In one sign of just how hot Miami’s apartment market is, each vacant rental unit has 22 would-be tenants vying for it, more than double the national average, RentCafe said. Miami had a 96.9 percent occupancy rate, highest among the nation’s large metro areas.

Miami’s apartment market is benefiting from an influx of new residents who are renting rather than buying, said Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix, a sister division of RentCafe.

“The migration patterns are right for it,” Ressler told Commercial Observer.

Millennials and members of Generation Z are moving to Miami for South Florida’s job growth. Meanwhile, boomers who are moving to Miami are opting to rent rather than buy, Ressler said.

Of course, hot markets invite new development, a reality that could cool Miami’s performance in the near future. More than 30,000 new rental units are coming online in Miami in 2023, 2024 and 2025, a building boom that could finally shift the apartment market’s balance in favor of renters.

“We think rents are going to continue to decelerate in the Miami market because of all that new supply,” Ressler said.

While RentCafe didn’t include rents in its calculations for most competitive markets, rents seem to be cooling in Miami. According to Zumper, another listing platform, average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Miami in December is $2,670, off 1 percent from a year ago.

Fort Lauderdale was the seventh most competitive market  among large metro areas in RentCafe’s report. Occupancy in Broward County is 95.3 percent, and 13 renters compete for each vacant unit.

Palm Beach County ranked 22nd in RentCafe’s ranking of small markets, with an occupancy rate of 94.7 percent.

Jeff Ostrowski can be reached at jostrowski@commercialobserver.com.