Key Highlights

  • Record 32M adults living with parents or grandparents in April, an increase of +9.7% compared to last year
  • 7M adults moved back home in March and April and 2.2M of that 2.7M were 18-25 years old aka known as Generation Z
  • The problem? 4726M/month in lost rent

Landlords in different cities across the country began losing rental income just as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic broke. Generation-Zers (ages 18-25 years) moved back into their childhood rooms in March and April.

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Already an established trend prior to the pandemic outbreak, the “boomerang generation,” aka Generation Z, moved back into their parents’ or grandparents’ houses.

Zillow just released a study that indicated approximately 2.2M Gen Zers moved back home in March and April due to the pandemic outbreak. While 2.2M renters of the 2.7M renters who moved back home, or only 1.4% of the record total 32M adults now living with their parents or grandparents, according to the latest American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau, that number of “boomerang” Gen Zers translated into landlords losing some $726M/month in rental revenue.

Naturally, this loss of rental income affected landlords and areas of the country differently. Take a look at the two charts below that indicate the cities with the greatest dollar losses and the cities with the greatest share of market losses.

(Charts are derived from data provided by Zillow.)

Greatest Gen-Z Monthly Rent Losses in Dollars 

City                          Lost Rent                    Share of Lost Rent

New York                  $44M                                   0.8%

Los Angeles               $36M                                   0.9%

Chicago                     $19M                                   1.3%

Dallas                        $19M                                   1.4%

Washington                 $18M                                   1.3%

Boston                        $17M                                   1.5%

San Francisco               $15M                                   1.0%

Seattle                         $15M                                   1.5%

Houston                        $13M                                   1.2%

San Diego                     $12M                                   1.3%


US overall                      $726M                                 1.4%

Greatest Gen-Z Monthly Rent Losses By Share

 Blacksburg VA               $1.4M                                   5.7%

Bloomington IN              $1.5M                                   5.6%

State College PA             $1.3M                                   5.2%

Morgantown W VA           $1.0M                                   5.2%

College Station TX            $2.6M                                   5.1%

West Lafayette IN            $1.4M                                   4.9%

Columbia MO                   $1.5M                                   4.7%

Bloomington IL                 $0.9M                                   4.6%

Iowa City IO                    $1.1M                                   4.5%

Auburn AL                       $1.0M                                   4.5%

You’ll note that the markets hit hardest were college towns. If at-home/remote learning continues into the fall of this year, college-town landlords and their local economies will continue to suffer the consequences of Gen-Zers continuing to live “at home” thanks to the coronavirus.


Thanks to Zillow and The New York Times.

Also read: Affordability Up +31% from One Year Ago, How Pandemic Has Affected Mortgage & Rent Payments, Unemployment Benefits Soon to be Without CARES Act Extra $600/week

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