You think that finding the best rental unit is tough now? A rental market analysis shows that demand will continue to increase over the next year along with rising rental rates. You may notice the crunch when you are looking for a new rental unit. Often, an apartment will not be on the market for long before several people are interested in the space. No need to fret–you can still find your dream apartment, but you might have to act quickly to nab it off the market.

Second Annual Rental Industry Report talked to brokers, investors, property managers and accidental landlords–people who are unable to sell their homes and decide to rent it out–in 2,000 cities nationwide. According to these real estate experts, a whopping 71 percent experienced three or more prospective tenants competing for a lease after an apartment was put on the market. When you’re looking for an apartment, it’s a good idea to have your checkbook and necessary information in hand, like your driver’s license and social security card, so you don’t run the risk of losing your apartment to one of the many other people looking at the space.

This rental trend is affected by the housing market as well, which is causing a number of people to rent instead of buy. However, the report found that 78 percent of real estate agents, 76 percent of real estate investors and 54 percent of accidental landlords are interested in buying property in which to invest.This may open up possibilities for more rental units in urban centers. Do you see foreclosed home signs around your neighborhood? Investment in these homes could help counter overwhelming demand for rental units in addition to improving neighborhoods.

If you’re a renter in the Twin Cities or Boulder, you are no stranger to this trend. For example, apartment dwellers in Minneapolis and St. Paul are already experiencing spikes in rental rates and increased demand throughout the major metropolitan area. More people are opting for renting across the country for a variety of reasons, from having foreclosed home to waiting to buy, and this is pushing costs through the roof. Luckily, in some cities more rental buildings are being constructed so the high rates may not stick around for the long haul.