Rental Activity Report: Overland Park, KS, Boldly Edges Out Minneapolis for Top Spot After Stunning Climb

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  • Overland Park, KS, dethrones Minneapolis as most sought-after spot by renters in April.
  • West & South finish neck and neck for the title of renters’ favored region.
  • Baton Rouge, LA, makes incredible debut into top 30 thanks to 62-spot leap.

As the rental season is picking up, apartment hunters remain actively engaged in their search for suitable living spaces. But, which cities are brimming with rental activity and capturing the attention of eager renters?

Banner detailing the methodology used in the report.

In April, Overland Park, KS, dethroned Minneapolis as the most sought-after city among renters exploring RentCafe.com for apartments. Engagement with Overland Park listings is high, indicating strong interest from those looking for rental apartments. As a result, Minneapolis now takes second place, having dropped down one spot after four months at the top, while Atlanta remains in the third position for the second month in a row.

Next, securing the fourth spot is Cleveland, having climbed nine spots since March. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., rounds out the top five after a modest three-spot climb. These cities attract significant attention on RentCafe.com, with renters actively viewing listings, favoriting properties, and customizing searches amid limited availability.

April 24 Top 10 Cities Rental Activity

April’s data also reveals subtle shifts in renter preferences across regions. For instance, the West and South are tied for most favored region according to renters, each boasting nine cities in the ranking. Following closely is the Midwest, represented by eight cities, while the Northeast has three entries in the ranking.

For a comprehensive understanding of regional trends in the early months of 2024, refer to our February and March Rental Activity Reports.

Meanwhile, a more detailed analysis of regional rankings reveals an evolving pattern: The Midwest is reclaiming its hold on the top five, with Overland Park, KS, in the lead, followed by Minneapolis in second place and Cleveland securing the fourth spot. However, this resurgence of the Midwest does nothing to push out the South’s presence in the ranking with Atlanta holding steady in third place and Washington, D.C. coming in fifth. Further down the list, cities like Orlando, FL, (#6); North Las Vegas, NV (#7); Tacoma, WA (#8); San Jose, CA, (#9); and Knoxville, TN, (#10) continue to draw attention from renters.

Overland Park, KS, takes the crown as renters’ top pick in April

1. Overland Park, KS

Securing the top position after a steady climb since the beginning of the year, Overland Park, KS, is propelled by a 256% surge in page views and a 138% increase in favorited listings compared to the previous year. Notably, this surge in interest coincides with a strong 67% increase year-over-year in saved searches on RentCafe.com to confirm the city’s upward trajectory in our rankings.

View of Overland Park, Kansas.

Even with a 3% increase in available apartment listings, it’s evident that the demand for rental properties in this Kansas hub continues to be high.

2. Minneapolis

Although Minneapolis has slipped to second place since last month, it continues to be a frontrunner in our ranking for April. Here, renters’ interest in the City of Lakes was solidified by a 133% increase in page views and a 47% increase in saved searches compared to April 2023.

Aerial view of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Moreover, despite a 23% decrease in favorited listings, the city’s allure remains strong, as evidenced by a 19% year-over-year drop in available apartment listings on RentCafe.com, which indicates high demand and a competitive rental market.

3. Atlanta

Atlanta retains its third spot in April, mirroring its placement from the previous month. That said, the city has seen  a slight 1% increase in the number of listings availability, but the interest among renters — particularly those hailing from New York, Miami and Chicago — remains robust.

Air view of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

April also marks Atlanta’s seventh appearance in the top three most sought-after cities, highlighting this Southern gem’s enduring charm.

4. Cleveland

Cleveland has made a significant leap to the fourth spot in April, climbing nine positions since last month. Clearly, apartments in Cleveland are captivating renters’ attention, as demonstrated by a 118% surge in page views and a 26% drop in available listings.

View of Cleveland, Ohio.

Plus, despite experiencing a 10% decrease in saved searches and only an 8% rise in favorited listings, it’s clear that this Ohio haven still maintains its status as a sought-after market.

5. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. claims the fifth spot in our April rankings, due to a 35% increase in page views and a 9% decrease in apartment availability compared to the previous year. This highlights sustained interest from renters in spite of a slight drop in favorited listings (down 16%) and a 36% decrease in saved searches, which could be attributed to lack of immediate intent to rent given that the rental season has just started.

Aerial view of Washington, D.C.

Nevertheless, the capital continues to attract attention, particularly from renters hailing from Baltimore, New York and Atlanta.

6. Orlando, FL

The sixth spot this month goes to Orlando, FL, which has climbed three spots since March. The City Beautiful proved itself to be a desirable location for renters thanks to a 21% drop in available apartment listings. This is the case even though there was a 36% decrease in favorited listings and a 52% decline in saved searches as renters are likely still considering their options.

Riverfront view of Orlando, Florida.

Even so, the 9% increase in page views for apartments in Orlando suggests that renters are actively seeking renting opportunities in the city.

7. North Las Vegas

Claiming seventh place after a seven-spot leap is North Las Vegas. This ascent is powered by a 230% increase in page views, complemented by a 28% decline in apartment availability compared to the previous year.

View of the North Las Vegas strip.

Plus, in spite of a 75% decrease in favorited listings, renters’ interest in the city has not been swayed, as the number of saved searches remaining steady.

8. Tacoma, WA

Tacoma, WA, claims eighth place on our list after falling two positions since last month. Yet, apartments for rent in Tacoma continue to attract attention, as indicated by a 192% surge in page views and a 19% decrease in apartment availability.

View of Tacoma, Washington.

What's more, while the decrease in favorited listings (down 55%) and saved searches (down 37%) on RentCafe.com might indicate that renters are looking at other options, too, Tacoma still ranks high on their lists.

9. San Jose, CA

San Jose, CA, now holds the ninth position, having climbed 11 spots since March. Here, the city's significant 202% increase in page views and 28% drop in available apartments during the last year have been key factors in this rise.

View of San Jose, California.

Furthermore, despite experiencing a 14% decrease in the number of favorited apartments, saved searches have remained consistent, thus signaling that San Jose continues to be an appealing alternative for many renters.

10. Knoxville, TN

Rounding out the top 10 is Knoxville, TN, which leaped 27 spots thanks to a 22% drop in apartment availability and a 148% surge in page views since last year. In this case, most page traffic comes from fellow Southern cities, such as Atlanta; Nashville, TN; and New Orleans.

View of Knoxville, Tennessee.

This shows that interest in the city remains high, even with a 60% decrease in favorited listings and a 44% decrease in saved searches on RentCafe.com.

Southern cities emerge as strong contenders against Western locations for the title of most sought-after spots for renters in April

After holding the title for most coveted region by renters in March, the West is neck and neck with the South when it comes to renter interest in April. Specifically, each region boasts nine entries, followed closely by the Midwest with eight. The Northeast wraps up the list with three entries. Then, when it comes to the top 10, the South dominates by claiming four spots, while the Midwest and West each have three entries.

In particular, Overland Park, KS, secures the top spot in the Midwest this month, pushing Minneapolis down to second place, while Cleveland follows behind at #4, after a nine-spot leap. Other sought-after spots in the Midwest include Grand Rapids, MI, which soaring 58 spots to #14; Chicago at #20; Des Moines, IA at #21 (thanks to an impressive 23-position climb); and Cincinnati at #27. Omaha, NE, also makes its mark in 28th place, rounding out the Midwest's representation in the top 30 for April.

Meanwhile, North Las Vegas leads the West, positioned at #7. The top 30 also highlights several other desirable Western rental destinations, including Tacoma, WA, at #8; and San Jose, CA, at #9, which has climbed 11 spots since March.

Further down the list, fellow California city, Sacramento, secures the 11th spot, while Peoria, AZ, rises three spots to #13. Similarly, Reno, NV, climbs nine positions to #16, while Spokane, WA, lands at #18, and Portland, OR, holds steady at #19. Otherwise, Denver claims the 26th spot, while Oakland, CA, rounds out the top 30 after a 47-spot surge.

In the South, Atlanta maintains its status as the highest-ranking Southern city for apartment hunters, claiming third place for the second month in a row. Other Southern cities that made it into the top 10 are Washington, D.C., at #7; Orlando, FL, at #8; and Knoxville, TN, at #10 after a 27-spot rise since March.

At the same time, Richmond, VA, ranks 12th, followed by Port St. Lucie, FL, in 15th place. Little Rock, AR, drops down to #22 in April, while Baton Rouge, LA, manages to catapult 62 positions to land at #23 — the highest surge among the top 30 cities. Not to be outdone, Birmingham, AL, secures the 25th spot on the list.

Lastly, the Northeast's most popular renting destinations in April are Queens, NY, at #17; Philadelphia at #24; and Newark, NJ, at #29. Notably, all three cities have continued to experience impressive surges in page views compared to one year prior, which has helped propel Newark back into the top 30 after one month's absence.

Meet the newcomers: Renters are drawn to Midwestern gems in April

April sees five new cities — primarily located in the Midwest and South —  joining our top 30 most sought-after rental destinations. Remarkably, Grand Rapids, MI, makes a grand entrance at #14, climbing a whopping 58 spots due to a surge in page views. The city is joined by another Midwest gem — Des Moines, IA — which jumped 23 positions to land at #21.

In the South, Port St. Lucie, FL, secures the 15th spot in our ranking, while Baton Rouge, LA, makes its debut at #23, after climbing 62-spots since last month.

Likewise, newcomer Oakland, CA, from the West, experiences a 47-position leap that propels it straight to #30 to round out the list for April.

Other cities joining or returning to our top 30 include Knoxville, TN (which climbed 27 positions since March); Omaha, NE; and Newark, NJ.

Methodology

RentCafe.com is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the U.S.

To compile this report, the research team analyzed RentCafe.com’s rental listing data across the 150 largest cities by population in the contiguous U.S. and with a relevant listing inventory sample. The regions are defined according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The cities were ranked based on a city-level rental activity score. Full points were awarded to the most desirable city for a particular metric, while the zero-point level was set slightly below the worst city’s value. Cities that lacked sufficient information regarding specific metrics were awarded zero points.

Beginning in August 2023, the city that obtained the highest total score was awarded 100 points and all total scores of the following cities were adjusted accordingly.

To calculate each city’s score, we ranked them according to four metrics and their averages as of the most current month in 2024 versus the same month in 2023.

1. Availability Rate (Maximum score: 40 points)

The availability rate score was calculated by dividing the total vacant units at the city level for the most recent month by the total units and a year-over-year comparison of the same. The lowest rate received maximum points.

2. Page Views (Maximum score: 30 points)

The page views score was calculated as the total number of monthly page views for the most recent month at the city level divided by the total renter population in the city and a year-over-year comparison of the same. Page views are defined as a unique user interaction on a specific page in a 30-minute window.

3. Favorites (Maximum score: 15 points)

The favorites score was calculated as the total monthly rental listings added to favorites at the city level for the most current month divided by the total renter population in the city and a year-over-year comparison of the same. A favorite is defined as a rental listing saved to favorites by a website visitor.

4. Saved Searches (Maximum score: 15 points)

The saved searches score was calculated as the total number of monthly saved searches at the city level for the most current month divided by the total renter population in the city and a year-over-year comparison of the same. A saved search is defined as a filtered/personalized apartment search saved by a website visitor.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the research, graphics, and images presented in this article. When doing so, we ask that you credit our research by linking to RentCafe.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology. For more in-depth, customized data, please contact us at media@rentcafe.com.

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Adina Dragos is a creative writer at RentCafe, with a passion for reading, research and cats. As a fellow renter, Adina's articles cover various topics such as the state of the real estate market or how creative interior design choices improve the experience of living in a rental. She also enjoys exploring subjects like urbanization, green living and historical buildings. Adina has a BA in English and Norwegian Language and Literature.

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