Harrisburg is number three on RentCafe's list of hottest rental markets to start 2023. Photo: Andre Frueh/Unsplash

Harrisburg, Philly suburbs, among the top 20 hottest rental markets to start 2023

A new report from RentCafe puts PA's capital at number three and the latter at 15.


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Harrisburg and Suburban Philadelphia both landed in the top 20 of a recent study put out by RentCafe, which ranked the hottest rental markets in the U.S. to start 2023. PA's capital came in at number three and the Philly burbs were 15. 

Trends in Philly proper

Despite not scoring in the top 20, the city of Philadelphia is still among the 50  most competitive rental markets in the country.

In the top 20 was Suburban Philadelphia, ranked 15, surpassing even Greater Boston and Manhattan. The boosts came because of high occupancy rates, as 75% of renters chose to renew their leases, making it twice as competitive as the urban area.

Other key findings:

  • A prospective renter competes with on average seven other people for an available apartment in the Philadelphia suburbs.  
Rental markets competitivity in Northeast at the start of 2023. Graphic: RentCafe.
Suburban Philadelphia is the 15th hottest rental market in the nation. Graphic: RentCafe.
  • Despite a 0.89% uptick in new apartments (which is double the national average of 0.43%), Philadelphia still can’t meet its demand for housing. The city’s occupancy rate is a high 93.2%, as more than two-thirds (67.2%) of apartment dwellers chose to stay put. Taking population into account, there are often 9 prospective renters applying for the same vacant unit in Philadelphia. 
  • With available rentals dwindling throughout Philadelphia, renters turned to the suburbs — only to face even tighter market conditions at the start of 2023. Suburban Philadelphia’s occupancy rate of 94.7% is above the national average — as is the share of renters who preferred to renew their leases (74.9%).
  • On average, vacant apartments gets filled in 42 days in the Philly suburbs — seven days faster than in Philadelphia. To top it all, the suburbs saw extremely few new units opening recently (0.2%), which only intensified competition in the area at the start of the year.
Top 20 most competitive rental markets at the start 2023. Graphic: RentCafe.
Top 20 most competitive rental markets at the start 2023. Graphic: RentCafe.

More on the analysis

To identify the most in-demand rental areas earlier this year, Yardi Systems apartment data for 134 new apartment U.S. markets were reviewed. Based on these metrics, a Rental Competitiveness Index (RCI) was calculated, showing how competitive the rental market was in early 2023.

When referring to suburban Philadelphia and the Philadelphia rental market, reference is made to the following major municipalities and surrounding suburbs: Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Delaware – Wilmington, New Jersey – Camden.

Here's the full report to see how other markets are competing early this year.


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