The Garden State has two of the most competitive rental markets in the country, according to an analysis of 2022 activity by RentCafe.

The apartment listing service looked at the 135 largest markets in the country and based its ranking on a number of factors:

  • number of days apartments were vacant
  • percentage of rentals that were occupied
  • prospective renters competing for an apartment
  • lease renewals
  • new apartments coming on to the market

The national "Rental Competitivity Index" score was 59.9 in 2022.

No. 5 North Jersey (RCI: 107.5)

Hoboken (Google Maps)
Hoboken (Google Maps)

For every available apartment on the market in North Jersey, an average of 21 apartment seekers were applying for it, according to RentCafe.

The occupancy rate in the region was 97.2% in 2022.

According to Doug Ressler, with sister agency Yardi Matrix, many working-from-home renters fled crowded Manhattan during the pandemic and found solace in larger, more affordable apartments in New Jersey.

"Some of the best examples are Jersey City and Newark, both of which are located within 45 minutes of the Big Apple by train," Ressler said.

Despite a 2.1% increase in the total number of new apartments, the report finds, the region is far from meeting the growing demand for housing.

RentCafe predicts that an additional 9,459 units will open up in 2023, as well as 13,690 units in 2024.

No. 7 Central Jersey (RCI: 96.8)

Exit for Route 18 north to Route 1 south in New Brunswick
Exit for Route 18 north to Route 1 south in New Brunswick (NJ DOT)

At 85.3%, Central Jersey posted the highest lease renewal rate in the RentCafe study.

Close to 97% of the region's apartments were occupied in 2022, while the number of units grew by less than 1%, according to the report.

For every unit available, there were about 15 people wanting it, and apartments in the market stayed on the market for an average of 41 days before being rented out.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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