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Renting in the United States – 2017 Year in Review

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Apartment List experts analyze the most important trends in the 2017 rental market and predict their impact in 2018. In 2017, large increases in multifamily stock decreased occupancy rates and helped soften rent growth in many hot markets. Despite increases in overall rental stock, affordability remains a concern for many renters, as the rental stock affordable for low-income renters continues to deteriorate.

2017 Turkey Index

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With Thanksgiving just a gobble days away, it’s time to feast your eyes on the 2017 edition of our annual Apartment List Turkey Index! Thanksgiving is the ultimate celebration of food, family, friends and football – a combination that always makes for lively conversation. If your dinner table is anything like mine, the conversation inevitably turns to a question as old as thyme – how many turkey dinners would it cost to pay our rent? Thankfully, we can now a-maize our guests by answering that question definitively.

Rental Affordability Crisis: Where Is Cost Burden Worst?

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In 2016, the share of cost-burdened renters, or those spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent, reached the lowest level since 2008. Despite the decrease, nearly half of renters remain cost burdened and one-quarter of renters are severely cost burdened, spending more than half their income on rent. The decrease in cost burden is due to growth in renter incomes, which outpaced increases in rent prices, but this is largely the result of an influx of high-income earners in the rental market, rather than an increase in the wages of existing renters. Florida and California

Rental Insecurity: The Threat of Evictions to America’s Renters

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Analyzing data from Apartment List users, we find that nearly one in five renters were unable to pay their rent in full for at least one of the past three months. We estimate that 3.7 million American renters have experienced an eviction, and the problem disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable members of our society. Evictions are a leading cause of homelessness, and research has tied eviction to poor health outcomes in both adults and children.

Prime Markup: How Much Would Amazon HQ2 Drive Up Rents?

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With as many as 100 cities bidding for the Amazon HQ2, Apartment List delved into the data to analyze the impact of the new Amazon headquarters, or "HQ2", on the housing market. We analyzed the rental markets in 15 metros contending for the "HQ2" and predict rents will rise up to an additional 2 percent per year. The metros most impacted by the influx of Amazon workers are smaller metros with low median wages or metros where building new homes is difficult.

Imbalance in Housing Aid: Mortgage Interest Deduction vs. Section 8

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With the tax reform debate now fully underway, Apartment List examined the popular mortgage interest deduction (MID) and compared federal expenditure on the MID to spending on Section 8 rental assistance programs. In 2015, federal expenditure on the MID was more than double the funding for Section 8. Additionally, the MID is a highly regressive benefit, with 85 percent of expenditure going to high-income households.

Report Card: What Are the Top U.S. Metros for Millennials?

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Apartment List graded 75 top U.S. metros in three categories -- jobs, affordability and livability -- to determine the best metros for millennials. Overall, affordable inland metros scored highest, with Pittsburgh, Provo and Madison topping the list. Metros where millennials traditionally move -- San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York -- and where millennials have recently been moving -- Seattle, Austin and Denver -- failed to make the list due to their lack of affordability.

The Racial Divide in Homeownership

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The “American Dream” has long been tied up with the goal of owning a home, but the fruits of homeownership are not shared equally across demographic groups. Nationwide, 64.4 percent of white households are homeowners, compared to 54 percent of Asian households, 41.1 percent of Hispanic households, and just 32.7 percent of black households. These discrepancies hold true even when controlling for education and income, with black households at the worst disadvantage. We also compare gaps in homeownership rates by race across metros, and find that metros in the Northeast and Midwest have the worst disparity.

Apartment List Methodology Revamp: FAQs

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Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available, and as part of our efforts toward that goal, we’ve made some changes to our methodology. These are the answers to frequently asked questions about Apartment List's new rent report methodology.

Moving On: Why are Renters Relocating?

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A new Apartment List report reveals that 64 percent of renters indicate plans to settle down in a city other than where they currently reside, with Sunbelt renters more likely to settle in their current location. In pricey East Coast and West Coast metros, renters cite affordability as the largest driver of relocation, while in inland metros -- primarily located in the Midwest and South Atlantic -- better job opportunities are the main factor driving renters to new locations.

Housing Shortage: Where is the Undersupply of New Construction Worst?

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As America’s cities continue to grow and add jobs, it’s crucial that sufficient new housing is built to meet the demand created by that growth. Analyzing data on building permits and employment, Apartment List found that only 10 of the nation’s 50 largest metros have produced enough new housing to keep pace with job growth in recent years. We also find a strong correlation between the number of jobs per permit and rent growth from 2005 to 2015, showing that a failure to meet the demand for new housing drives rent increases.

Poverty in the Suburbs: Are Cities Prepared to Deal with the Growing Problem?

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There is growing concern about poverty in the suburbs, known as the “suburbanization of poverty.” Apartment List found that, while poverty has grown in both suburban and urban areas, it is increasing faster in the suburbs. While a larger share of the country’s poor population lives in dense urban areas than any other neighborhood type, poverty is becoming increasingly suburban, as the share of the poor population in low-density and medium-density urban areas, considered “suburban,” grows.

As Knowledge Workers Thrive, Blue Collar and Service Sectors Left Behind

  • How Have Post Rent Wages Changed

Although many metros have experienced overall wage growth over the past decade, very few have achieved something called “inclusive growth” that benefits all workers. Over the past decade, “post-rent wages,” or wages left after deducting median rent costs, decreased for service workers (-7 percent) and blue-collar workers (-5 percent), while only knowledge workers saw an increase (6 percent). The combination of unequal wage growth and rising rents has led to an increase in inequality between blue-collar, knowledge and service workers in most metros.

Luxury Bias in Private Listing Data

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Data from private listing sites, such as Apartment List and our competitors, tend to include a greater share of high-end luxury units, and therefore, overrepresent the upscale neighborhoods in a city. This results in median rent estimates that are too high, a phenomenon we call “luxury bias.” In order to make our rent estimates the best and most accurate available, we've revamped our methodology to control for this issue.

American Dream of Homeownership Delayed for Millennial Generation

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In a nationwide survey of about 24,000 renters, Apartment List found that the 80 percent of millennial renters want to purchase a house or condo, but most are a long way from being able to afford to actually do so. Of those respondents who plan to purchase a home in the future, some 72 percent said affordability is the primary obstacle, and 68 percent of millennials said they have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment. Based on current savings rates, millennials in many metros will need a decade or more to save enough for a down payment.

Rents and Reporters

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Despite the importance of journalism, US reporter employment has been consistently falling over the past decade. One in five reporters lives in New York, Washington, DC or Los Angeles, which may skew coverage away from local issues and viewpoints. To better understand trends in the journalism industry and the challenges reporters face, we analyzed BLS data and Census rent data from 2005-2015. We find that journalists salaries have not kept up with those in other industries. For example, public relations specialists’ salaries increased 14% over the past decade, while journalist salaries fell 7%. Additionally, over the same time period, reporter employment fell 22% nationwide.

Even Experienced Teachers Can’t Afford to Live Where They Work

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To better understand the challenges facing our educators, we analyzed data on teacher salaries and median rents in 50 U.S. cities. In almost a third of cities (primarily located on the coasts), teachers spend more than 30% of their income on rent. For example, in San Francisco and New York fifth year teachers have to spend nearly 70% of their income to rent a one bedroom. The situation seems to worsen as teachers become more experienced, with fifth and tenth-year teachers facing bigger challenges than first-year teachers. Teachers facing rents far out of their price range often must decide between long commutes or financial stress. If these trends continue, city officials and school districts may face increasing struggles to attract and retain teachers.

Best Metros for Dating 2017

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Renters look for many things when deciding where to live - jobs, affordability, and safety, for example. For single renters, there's one specific factor that might be most important - which metros have the best opportunities for dating?   Methodology Apartment List conducts an annual survey of renters, in which we collect data on renters' satisfaction with their cities across a range of dimensions. The results below are based on responses from over 13,000 renters nationwide collected from October 2016 through the first week of February 2017. Today's report focuses on the following question: "How would you rate your current city or neighborhood

2017 Best Cities for Families

  • Best Cities for Young Families 2017

At Apartment List, we know that searching for a home is tough, and the decision can be even more complicated for families than it is for singles. Families look for different traits in the communities in which they choose to settle, and since they tend to have lower rates of mobility, the impact of their choices may be more enduring. For the past two years (2015 and 2016), we have dug into data on a number of pertinent factors to produce a family-friendliness index, and we’ve just updated the analysis with the most recent data. Read on to see the results!   Methodology

Which Metros Have the Most Cost-Burdened Renters?

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The share of cost-burdened renter households in the US declined significantly last year, as median incomes increased faster than rents. Metropolitan areas in Texas performed exceptionally well, with low and declining shares of renters facing challenges with affordability. Also, despite skyrocketing rents in tech hubs like Seattle, Denver, and San Jose, the share of cost-burdened renters there remain lower than national averages. Despite these positive trends, housing continues to be unaffordable for more than half of renters nationwide. Metros in Florida and Southern California continue to struggle, with high rates of cost-burdened renters in Miami (63.9%), Los Angeles (58.6%), and

2016 Turkey Index

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How much would rent cost if we all decided to pay in turkey dinners? We've run the numbers and can now answer this pressing question. New York City tops our list, with the median monthly two-bedroom rent coming in at 70 dinners. See how cities across the country compare. Happy Thanksgiving!

Where are millennials moving to?

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Millennials form the largest generation in the US, numbering more than 75 million nationwide. As this young, mobile group enters the workforce and forms new households, their decisions have a significant impact on the cities they choose to live in. Today, we look at Census data from 2005-2015, to understand where young Americans are moving to and choosing to settle down. How does your city stack up?

How did renters fare in 2015?

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How did median rents and renter incomes change from 2014-2015? We dive into data from the Census to find out.

Renters and Voting

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Renters have often been labeled as a group of non-voters in the past; but what is the truth about this today? Renters may not think they hold a lot of electoral power, but with the population of voters increasing and more young citizens becoming involved in politics, this is changing. Find out what the data says!

Homeowners and renters – a widening gap

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It's been nearly a decade since the Great Recession, and the US housing market has changed in many ways. Data scientists from Apartment List analyzed US Census data on homeownership, housing costs, and rents, to examine the impact in different metros across the US.

How Have Rents Changed Since 1960?

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Apartment List analyzed Census data from 1960 - 2014, to compare how rents and incomes have changed in the past 50+ years.

Is Student Debt Stopping Millennials From Homeownership?

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Even though most millennials have said that they plan on purchasing a home, the homeownership rate continues to decline. Is student debt a big obstacle? We dive into the results of our annual renter survey to find out.

The Affordability Crisis: What Happens When Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy Homes?

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The U.S. homeownership rate reached 63.4% in 2015, the lowest rate in almost fifty years, and continues to decline among millennials. To find out more about what's holding millennials back, Apartment List surveyed more than 30,000 renters across the country, asking them about their plans for homeownership, affordability, and savings for a down payment. Click through to find out the results!

April 2016 National Apartment List Rent Report

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April's National rent report, courtesy of the data scientists here at Apartment List.

The Top 10 U.S. Metro Areas for Families in 2016

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At Apartment List, we're always trying to help you find the perfect place for you and your loved ones. Last month, we released our our annual ranking of the best cities for young families. Today, we aggregate results by metropolitan area to paint a fuller picture of where you should look. How does your city compare?

8 Tips for Finding an Apartment You Can Afford

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On the regular, apartment hunting can be stressful and exhausting. But at Apartment List, we believe that the entire renter experience, from search to lease, should be as seamless and enjoyable as possible! Here are our 8 tips for finding an apartment you can afford!

2016 Best Cities for Young Families

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Everyone wants a great apartment at a great price, but families look for different things in a city than young singles. Which are the best cities for young families? To answer the question, Apartment List crunched data on safety, education, and affordability - read on to see our 2016 rankings!

Rental Vacancy Rates

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The US rental vacancy rate was 7.0% in Q4 of 2015 (4.1% lower than the most recent peak in 2009). How does your city or state compare?

Red vs. Blue States: Which are More Affordable for Renters?

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With the presidential primary season upon us, we were curious to know whether Democrat or Republican states were more affordable for renters. Rents tend to be much higher on the Democrat-leaning coasts, but incomes there are higher as well—in fact, San Francisco has the lowest share of cost-burdened renters of the 50 cities in our study. What does the data say?

What $1,500 in Rent Gets You in 12 U.S. Cities

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Where in the US do renters get the most bang for their buck? We combed our site to find out!

Renting in the United States – The Year in Review

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With 2015 coming to a close, we highlight the top stories of the year - rent changes, homeownership, affordability, and more!

Which cities and states have the most cost-burdened renters?

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More than half of United States renters qualify as cost-burdened, with upwards of 30% of their income being put toward rent. Apartment List analyzed US census data from 2007-2014, spanning all 50 states, 454 cities, and 929 counties, to find out which cities and states have the most cost-burdened renters.

Cities Where Renters Are The Most Delighted By Rent Prices

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If Happiness = Reality - Expectations, which cities have the most delighted renters? Our team at Apartment List dug into our monthly rent reports as well as renters' apartment size and price expectations to find the answer.

Study: Most Millennials plan to purchase homes, but only after 2018

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How do plans for homeownership vary? Do these plans differentiate by city, state, and age? We surveyed 6,000 millennial renters to find out.

Best Cities for Renters

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Apartment List reveals response data from their national Renter Confidence Survey, addressing local economy quality, school quality, safety levels, daily commutes, and more. Where's the best place for renters? The results may surprise you.