Renting in the United States – 2017 Year in Review

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.

The Racial Divide in Homeownership

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.

Moving On: Why are Renters Relocating?

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?

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.