Austin renters who've found the small number of apartments available frustrating could be in for some relief. In the past year, the market has become markedly less competitive, according to a new RentCafé report.

Finding a vacant Rental in Austin in early 2024 is easier than it was last year, the study finds, and it's the least competitive rental market of major Texas cities.

To find the most competitive rental markets in the U.S. at the start of the year, analyzed the 139 largest markets in the country where data was available. It used five relevant metrics in terms of rental competitiveness:

  • the number of days apartments were vacant
  • the percentage of apartments that were occupied by renters
  • the number of prospective renters competing for an apartment
  • the percentage of renters who renewed their leases
  • the share of new apartments completed recently

To measure the competitiveness of the rental market as the year was unfolding, it calculated a Rental Competitiveness Index with a scale of 1 to 100. At the start of 2024, the national RCI score was 73.4, indicating a moderately competitive rental market.

The RCI in Texas was slightly lower — 73.4 — and Austin received a score of 63.2. Fort Worth, at 73.4, got the highest score of the state's major cities, with Dallas (72.1), Houston (71.7), and San Antonio (67.9) following in descending order of competitiveness.

The report (or at least the comms specialist who sent it) credits a "boom in new construction that's made Austin one of the few markets where supply keeps pace with demand" for the increased availability of rentals in Austin:

Here are the numbers we crunched for Austin in 2024 versus 2023: 

  • No. of renters competing for an apartment: 4 vs. 6 last year 

  • No. of days apartments stay vacant: 41 vs. 35 last year 

  • Occupancy rate: 91.6% vs. 93.7% last year 

  • Share of renters renewing their leases: 54.9% vs. 54.5% last year 

  • Share of recently built apartments: 1.97% vs. 1.33% last year 

In comparison, the study found that "nationwide, an average of seven renters contend for each apartment, which is snagged within roughly 41 days (up from 38 days in early 2023). That’s mainly because the U.S. apartment stock increased by 0.67%, offering slightly more options to choose from amid an occupancy rate of 93% and a lease renewal rate of 61.5% during the first months of the year."