Solid demand inspired record occupancy and sky-high price hikes in Tampa in recent months, ranking the market among the nation’s leaders for rent growth. Annual effective asking rents surged by 15.7% year-over-year as of June. Among the nation’s largest 50 apartment markets, Tampa ranked #5 for annual rent growth, after Phoenix, Las Vegas, West Palm Beach and Riverside. Spurring such a solid pricing performance in Tampa was occupancy that climbed a stunning 260 basis points to 96.9% in June. That’s the strongest occupancy showing in Tampa since RealPage began tracking the market. Fueling this performance was solid demand for over 4,100 units in 2nd quarter, which was Tampa’s largest quarterly absorption tally since 1997. One of Tampa’s strongest demand influences in recent months was a solid employment base. In the past year, the Tampa workforce climbed by 7.6%, taking the total job count to within 2.1% of the pre-pandemic employment base. In comparison, the workforce in nearby Orlando was still well behind pre-pandemic norms – by 10.4% – as of June.