Rental Vacancy Map

As more and more sellers decide to just “rent it out”, I figured it would be interesting to watch vacancy rates. An increase in rentals should ease the tight vacancy rate we’ve been seeing in many cities.

Why does this matter to me? Because as vacancy rates keep go up, I’m expecting rents will start to fall. Eventually with falling rents, higher vacancy and limited appreciation, it’s possible retail investors (the BiggerPockets crowd) will offload properties that aren’t performing, leading to an increase in home supply.

On the demand side, renters often get pushed into buying by high rents and limited availability. With lower rents and more availability, that pressure goes away and demand drops. Already in some cities, it’s cheaper to rent than buy, by a lot. This just increases that gap.

I couldn’t find a regularly updated chart of vacancy and rents anywhere, but I found ApartmentList shares their data! So this chart uses ApartmentList vacancy index and rent estimates. You can read more about their methodology at those links. It’s important to note that it’s hard to collect these stats accurately, harder than MLS data.

If you’d like to support me on my quest to plumb the depths of real estate data and update these visuals more frequently, I’d appreciate it! Tableau is expensive.

All data from ApartmentList.