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Tampa Bay among nation's most popular rental markets

Tampa Bay is the nation's eighth most popular rental market. That's based on analysis by HotPads, a Zillow affiliate that looked at the number of searches on its site for rentals in the top 50 U.S. markets.

Of those searching in the Tampa Bay area, 76 percent already live here while the rest are considering relocation. The median bay area rent is $1,490 a month, up 5.1 percent from the same time a year ago. That's 31.4 percent of the area's median household income, just above the 30 percent threshold commonly used to determine affordability.

The nation's most popular rental markets are Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, with Miami in 10th place, HotPads found. All of the popular markets have historically strong job markets, and many are affordable though rising rents are eating up a larger share of renters' incomes.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.