Knowing rental statistics can mean the difference between knowing your area’s fair market value and renting a place for too much. It can mean buying a property in a lucrative location or a completely wrong one.
The rental industry’s highly dynamic and reflects the shifts in economic conditions. However, following the trends and developments in the rental market can help you plan finances and investment strategies in the best way possible. Here’s a list of some of the most relevant stats that will give you a brief but accurate review of this market.
Top 10 Rental Statistics for 2021
- In 2016, 43.3 million household heads in the US rented their home.
- The apartment rental industry was expected to reach $182.9 billion in 2020.
- 87% of people are influenced by prices and other costs when making decisions about renting.
- 87% of renters typically pay a $600 security deposit.
- The median rent requires 29.1% of a typical household income.
- 35% of cities in the US have rents higher than the national average.
- In 2017, homeownership was more affordable than renting in 66% of American housing markets.
- 2019 data shows that about 42% of renters in the US live in single-family homes.
- Airbnb has over 150 million users around the world.
- 69% of millennials state that they’ll always rent a home.
General Rental Statistics
How many people rent their homes in the US? What factors do people typically consider when renting? Find out these and more!
1. In 2016, 43.3 million household heads in the US rented their home.
About 65% of young adults (people under 35) lived in rental housing. Moreover, 41% of the people aged 35–44 and 28% of the people aged 45–64 were renters. The percentage of rented homes was the lowest in the 65+ age group—21%.
2. The apartment rental industry was expected to reach $182.9 billion in 2020.
(IBIS World, iPropertyManagement)
The industry revenue’s grown 2.6% a year since 2015. Apartment rental industry statistics also show that about 18% of renters live in apartment buildings with at least 50 units, 17% live in apartment buildings with 10–49 units, and 18% reside in buildings consisting of fewer than 10 units.
3. 44% of the US renter population resides in suburban areas.
The largest number of renters live in suburban areas. Urban renters make up 41%, while renters in rural areas constitute 15% of the renter population.
4. Rental stats reveal that 87% of people are influenced by prices and other costs when making decisions about renting.
About 76% of people are influenced by lease terms, 73% take into account unit size, and the same percentage considers the neighborhood itself. In addition, building amenities are an influential factor for 66% of people, and unit amenities for 62%, according to rental market analysis.
5. 90% of young adult renters had one regret about their rental property.
Among gloomier renting facts is that 52% of renters stated that property-renting prevented them from earning equity. Also, 52% said they weren’t able to customize their property (with remodels or DIY projects), while half of them thought their rent was too high. Finally, 40% said the property was too small, and 38% of renters disliked the layout of their home.
Rental Property Income Statistics
In this section, we’ll be looking at income gained from renting out properties.
6. 87% of renters typically pay a $600 security deposit.
Besides the deposit, about 67% of renters need to pay an average application fee of $50 for a property. They also submit 3.3 applications on average when looking to rent.
7. In 2019, the average national monthly rent in the US was $1,476.
The national monthly rent witnessed a 3.2% increase, according to average rent statistics. About 65% of all renters pay rent below the average of $1,476, while the remaining 35% pay more than the given amount.
8. In 2017, 43% of the units rented for under $800 in America were over 50 years old.
Even though these units are low-rent apartments, they can suffer from low stock value and are at greater risk of displacement because they are in older buildings.
9. Almost two-thirds of American renters are worried about their monthly rent payment.
(Wall Street Journal, iPropertyManagement)
About 31% of people say making rent is slightly stressful, 27% see it as moderately stressful, 9% find it really stressful, and about 6% say it’s extremely stressful. The rest experience no pressure when it comes to making rent. According to rental market statistics, in April 2020, almost a third of the renters in this country didn’t manage to pay their rent because of the economic chaos caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
10. The median rent requires 29.1% of a typical household income.
This percentage has increased by 3.3% since 2000, according to Zillow Research. The report also shows that renters in America are becoming more concerned about affording rent, and some of them even worry they may not be able to make their monthly payments.
Rental Statistics by Zip Code
Manhattan is the most expensive place for renters, with an average rent of $4,119. San Francisco and Boston follow closely. Find out more about it in this section.
11. 35% of cities in the US have rents higher than the national average.
About 65% of these cities have lower than average rents. One of the truly interesting (but perhaps not too surprising) rental statistics by city is that Manhattan’s the most expensive city when it comes to rent, with an average of $4,119. It is followed by San Francisco ($3,579) and Boston ($3,388).
12. In 2018, New York City had the highest number of renter household heads earning over $150,000.
That number reached 249,000, and it was again followed by San Francisco, with 71,000 of such households. Then came Los Angeles (67,000) and Chicago (39,000).
Home Rental Statistics
In this section, we’ll be specifically looking at rentals that are used as homes.
13. A 2016 survey showed that adults aged between 45 and 64 are less likely to rent.
Also, about 65% of renters were renting because of their given circumstances, while 32% said it was a matter of choice. As home ownership vs. renting statistics indicate, most renters opt for rental properties for financial reasons. Though many of those people aim for homeownership, landlords are generally at an advantage when there’s a high demand in the rental market. This means they can be picky when choosing their tenants and charge more.
14. In 2017, homeownership was more affordable than renting in 66% of American housing markets.
(ATTOM Data Solution)
Renting statistics from the same year report that in numerous markets, it was wiser for people to buy a house than to rent one. Paying rent for a 3-bedroom property took 38.6% of an average monthly salary, while a monthly mortgage payment on a similar house required 36.6% of it. In addition, statistics on landlords show that purchasing a property and renting it out can be a financially rewarding endeavor.
15. 2019 data shows that about 42% of renters in the US live in single-family homes.
Approximately 17% live in 2–4 unit homes, and 37% live in homes with five or more units. Finally, about 5% of renters reside in mobile homes.
16. On average, a household relying on SSI income can afford to pay $231 for rent.
Single-family rental statistics show that most family homes are out of reach for a typical American breadwinner. According to the national average, households relying on one person earning the federal minimum wage can set aside $377 for rent. An affordable rent for a family of four with an income at the poverty level is $644, while for a full-time worker with an average renter salary, it’s $913.
The average Fair Market Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $970, and for a 2-bedroom apartment, it’s $1,194. If we compare these figures with the previously mentioned average rent of $1,476, we can notice a striking difference.
17. The average hourly wage necessary for full-time workers to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in California is $34.69.
In 2019, the average housing wage for a 1-bedroom apartment was $18.65 per hour, while for a 2-bedroom rental property, the required hourly wage averaged $22.96. For example, in West Virginia, a worker making $14.27 an hour could afford a 2-bedroom apartment. These figures from rental statistics by state indicate that minimum-wage workers can’t even afford a 1-bedroom apartment in most American states.
Vacation Rental Industry Statistics
Here, we’ll be discussing short-term vacation rentals.
18. In 2018, the US had about 23,000 vacation rental companies.
Doubtlessly, the number of vacation rental companies in the United States is enormous and constitutes 20% of all such companies globally. The world has over 115,000 vacation rental companies, according to rental industry statistics.
Also, 20% of the world’s vacation rental properties are located in America. The European continent accounts for approximately 60% of the total number of vacation rental properties, while the rest of the world accounts for 20%.
19. According to vacation renting stats, average nightly rates in attractive vacation destinations reach $978.
On the lower end of the spectrum, average night stays at popular tourist spots cost $186. However, if affordability is what you want, don’t go to Wyoming around the 4th of July because it has the most expensive vacation rentals in the US at that time.
20. Airbnb has over 150 million users around the world.
As the latest Airbnb rental statistics reveal, the company has over 7 million listings in more than 220 countries and over 650,000 hosts around the planet. This travel rental agency has booked over half a billion stays since it was created.
Who are the people who rent properties? In this section, we’ll be focusing on the demographics of renters.
21. Immigrants account for almost 20% of all the renter households in the US.
(Housing Wire, Harvard)
In 2018, a high percentage of black people and Latinos couldn’t afford their rents and had to spend over 30% of their income to make rent. Even if they could decide to spend over 45% of their income on rent, they would still be left with fewer affordable listings than an average Asian household.
22. 69% of millennials state that they’ll always rent a home.
The biggest reason for this is that they can’t afford to buy their own property. Also, renting statistics show that 40% of renters in this age group say they’ll keep renting because they enjoy the flexibility. About 37% of millennial renters will continue renting because they want to avoid the expenses and the maintenance hassle of homeownership. Finally, 28% of them also think owning a home is financially risky.
23. 20% of the renters who get financial support from family members in paying rent are Generation Z individuals.
On average, these people receive 67% of their rent from their families. Moreover, 5% of the renters who get financial support from family members are Generation X individuals, while millennials make up another 7% of that group. Another 5% of family-dependent renters consist of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers.
Even when rental housing demand is high, landlords still need to stay on top of rent trends to protect their investments. The face of the US rental market has changed and will continue to do so for the rest of the year. Rental statistics for 2021 can offer a solid overview of the market’s state, in case you are among those looking for, marketing to, or managing renters.
What percentage of Americans rent?
In 2016, about 36.6% of American households rented their homes. This percentage was the highest the country had had in 50 years, more precisely, since 1965. Back then, about 37% of Americans rented their home.
How long does the average person rent for?
An average person rents for about one year. The duration of the rental period depends on the reasons why the tenant wants to stay in the area and the landlord’s plan to keep the property for rental purposes. Additionally, if a tenant decides to go month-to-month, it can decrease their lease time.
What state has the highest rent?
Data from 2019 shows that the state with the highest average rent is Washington DC, with $2,553 a month. It is closely followed by California, where the average rent reaches $2,517, and then Hawaii, with $2,348. On the other hand, there are also states where the average rent rate was under $1000 a month, for example, West Virginia ($889), Oklahoma ($936), and Arkansas ($954).
Will rent go down in 2021?
Rent in urban areas is expected to drop in 2021, likely due to people moving out of expensive accommodation in urban areas due to the pandemic and being able to work from home. On the flip side, rent in suburban areas may actually increase, according to the latest rental statistics.