Rental Beast, an end-to-end SaaS leasing platform for real estate agents, maintains a highly accurate updated database with active listings in 14 markets across the U.S. With more than 8 million off-MLS rental properties in its database, Rental Beast is well-positioned to measure the pandemic’s impact on the rental space and is able to aggregate unique and insightful data. In this report, Rental Beast includes year-over-year changes in rental inquiries and the rental concessions being offered to tenants across five cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia.
Rental Inquiries are prospective tenants actively seeking to rent an available property in Rental Beast’s database. Rental inquiry volume follows a predictable seasonal pattern, and departures from this pattern serve as powerful, quantifiable early indicators of a shift in the rental marketplace. Rental inquiry data tends to be a more powerful predictor of future transactional activity than traditional rental information, such as average rent.
The continued impact of COVID-19 on public health and economic conditions still decreased housing demand from renters. Atlanta, Miami and Boston registered YOY rental inquiry declines of (-67 percent), (-66 percent), and (-63 percent), respectively. It is important to note, however, that these numbers represent significant gains from April lows, suggesting these cities may be on the way to recovery: