The monthly median asking rent for unfurnished apartments in the United States increased by nearly 50 percent since 2008. As a result, between 38 and 54 percent of renter households are considered to be either moderately or severely cost-burdened. As of February 2021, the average rent of a two bedroom apartment was 1,100 U.S. dollars. Nevertheless, some states, such as Hawaii, California and the District of Columbia, had average rents much higher than the national average. In Hawaii, for example renters paid over 1,900 U.S. dollars for a comparable apartment.
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. In 2019, almost half of U.S. renters were under the age of 30.
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.