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Detroit area renters are looking to get out of town, according to report

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Despite the current apartment boom, local renters are searching elsewhere


As Detroit prepares to add thousands of new rental units to meet a rising demand for apartments, a recent report suggests that many renters currently living in the city are looking to get out of town. By analyzing search data on its website, Apartment List’s Renter Migration Report found the Motor City had the nation’s second highest percentage of renters looking at apartments outside the metro area.

The number one spot for renters looking to leave went to Orlando, but that city saw a high percentage of inbound searches too, suggesting that it is likely experiencing a change in population rather than an outright decline. Meanwhile, Detroit lagged behind other cities when it came to attracting renters from elsewhere—especially from areas outside of the Midwest.

According to the report, top cities searched by Apartment List users in metropolitan Detroit were Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids. Toledo, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Chicago also ranked high.

It is important to note that search data isn’t always indicative of action. In other words, just because individuals are looking at apartments outside of a given city, it doesn’t mean they will necessarily leave. The so-called “aspirational migration” data also fails to take the movement of non-renters into consideration.

A visual representation of where Detroit area renters are searching for new apartments using Apartment List’s website.
Courtesy Apartment List