Boston and Chicago Tied for Most Satisfied Rental Markets

National renter satisfaction spiked this past quarter with 78.5% of residents reporting “Good” or “Excellent” satisfaction with their renting experience, which is up significantly from the 77.9% of residents who were satisfied at the end of 2018. Another quarter of increasing resident satisfaction marks a total of six continuous quarters of resident satisfaction on the rise.

Mirroring the national trend, resident satisfaction rose significantly at the market level as well. Every market except Atlanta saw a year-over-year increase in satisfaction this past quarter. This marks Atlanta’s third quarter of year-over-year decreases in overall satisfaction. The largest market-level increase in overall satisfaction occurred in Dallas again with a 3.4 percentage point increase from this time last year. Right behind Dallas, Chicago and Miami both experienced 3.1 percentage point increases this past quarter. In addition, both Dallas and Chicago saw large year-over-year increases not only in resident satisfaction, but in residents’ value for amount paid and renewal intentions as well. Overall, Boston, Chicago, and New York continue to score the highest for resident satisfaction with all three exceeding 80% satisfaction again this past quarter.

All Markets Experience Increases in Value for Amount Paid

After slowing in ascent, residents’ value for amount paid climbed again this past quarter at the same rate as the previous quarter. Value for amount paid rose another half a percentage point from 59.8% in the last quarter of 2018 to 60.3% this past quarter.

Every single market experienced a year-over-year increase in value for amount paid. Washington, DC, increased by just 0.1 percentage points, the smallest market level increase, but still notable after the large decreases seen by the District late in 2017 and early in 2018. Atlanta continues to lead the markets in value for amount paid with 67.3% of residents satisfied with the cost of their apartment. Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco had the largest year-over-year increases in value for amount paid this past quarter, with increases of 8.4, 7.5, and 6.6 percentage points, respectively. Dallas was not far behind with a 6.3 percentage point increase. Both Dallas and San Francisco have sustained large year-over-year increases in value for amount paid since the third quarter of 2018.

National Renewal Intentions Continues Upward Trend

National resident renewal intentions continued to soar this past quarter with yet another large jump, moving from 55.6% of residents likely to renew in the last quarter of 2018 to 56.3% of residents likely to renew this past quarter. The majority of the major markets matched this trend, with only Washington, DC experiencing a year-over-year decrease in resident renewal intentions.

The District suffered a 4.9 percentage point decrease this past quarter, which marks a full year of decreasing resident renewal intentions for the city. The largest increase in renewal intentions occurred in Dallas and Denver; both markets saw a 4.5 percentage point increase from this time last year. Boston, once more, had the highest resident renewal intentions of all the major markets with 64.4% of residents likely to renew. New York and Atlanta trail close behind Boston at 59.5% and 59.1%, respectively.

Apartments.com and Google Most Used Sites in Apartment Search

Since 2014, the websites that residents use to find new apartments have changed dramatically. Five years ago, the company or community’s website was the most used site for new apartment seekers, followed closely by Google. Today, Apartments.com is the most popular apartment search tool, with Google still in a close second place.

Over the last five years, the popularity of Apartments.com has skyrocketed from only 7.3% of residents using it in 2014 to 29.0% of residents using it for their apartment search today. Usage of Zillow and Apartment Finder also increased since 2014; Zillow usage increased from 1.2% of residents using it in 2014 to nearly 12% of residents using it in their apartment searchers today. Apartment Guide, Apartment Ratings, Craigslist, and Rent.com have all decreased in usage over the past five years. Yelp, not pictured in the graph above, has maintained a solid 5% of residents referencing it for their apartment search over the past five years.

The full industry trend analysis can be found on Multifamily Executive.