Small Northeast and West Markets Lead for Occupancy

  in   Insights

The nation’s best occupancy performances are focused in small markets in the Northeast and West regions of the country. Most of these markets are located within a two- to three-hour drive of bigger, more expensive markets, and therefore offer less pricey rent alternatives. Salisbury is the nation’s tightest apartment market, with occupancy of 99.3% in May. Located just a few hours from Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC, Salisbury offers monthly rents at $1,296, a notable discount from rates of $1,450 to $1,780 in those cities. Two other small market occupancy leaders are positioned close to Philadelphia. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton was 99% full in May, with rents of $1,354, while Atlantic City-Hammonton was 98.5% occupied, with prices of $1,443. Located just outside of Boston are Portland-South Portland, with occupancy at 98.9%, and Manchester, which is 98.6% full. These markets offer monthly rents that are $630 to $720 less than Boston prices. In the West region, Bakersfield, Stockton-Lodi and Fresno all logged occupancy above 98%, and all command rental rates between $1,200 and $1,600, which are a deep discount from nearby markets like Los Angeles ($2,308) and the Bay Area ($2,554). Among these high-occupancy markets, Spokane is the furthest out from a major city. Located roughly four hours from Seattle, Spokane prices are $700 more affordable, on average, per month. Riverside is the only major market on the national occupancy leaderboard, with a rate of 98.5% in May. Even this market, however, follows the pattern, with prices that are $460 below monthly rents in the much bigger nearby city of Los Angeles.