U.S. Residential Rental Market- Statistics & Facts

Whether you’re a college student or a retiree, there are many advantages to renting a home rather than purchasing one, and in recent years the United States rental market has seen an increase in demand for apartment and house rentals. Although renting is seen as an affordable alternative to purchasing a home, renting in major cities has become increasingly expensive, and finding a suitable rental has become a major challenge for many people living and working in major cities. In 2019, almost half of U.S. renters were under the age of 30.

The monthly median asking rent for unfurnished apartments in the United States increased by nearly 50 percent between 2008 and 2018. For many people, this rapid increase in rental rates is an enormous financial burden and there has been a public outcry about how unaffordable living in certain U.S. cities is. In New York, where on average between 23 and 50 percent of household income goes towards rent, a rent increase of even a hundred dollars could be devastating.

In the last decade, there has been a downward trend in rental vacancy rates, decreasing from approximately 40 percent in 2009 to just under 25 percent in 2019, reflecting the increasing demand for rental units. This scarcity could partially explain the rapidly increasing rental costs. The average monthly apartment rent has been steadily rising over the past few years.

The majority of American renters live in single family homes, followed by structures with five or more units, such as apartment buildings. Multifamily housing units - apartments, townhouses, condos, to name a few - are gaining in popularity, especially in urban areas where space is limited.

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Rental market in the United States

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Renting vs owning




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