Wanna-be Millennial first-time buyers rented more in 2021 than they have in five years.

High-Earning Millennials Found Renting to be Only Option in 2021

Despite Millennials becoming the highest share of first-time home buyers in 2021, high-earning Millennials (with an annual income of more than $50,000/year), submitted 39% of all rental applications in 2021, according to RentCafe.  This share of 39% is their largest share in the rental market in five years.

The highly competitive pandemic housing market has not been kind to Millennials, even though many among this demographic have the income and down payment to buy.

Millennials, of course, are not the only demographic renting more in 2021 as we saw rental vacancies plummet and rent prices skyrocket during the year.  But, the Millennial rental-market share of 39% increased by +20% over the year. It also dwarfed the +12% rental growth of Gen-Xers and the +7% rental growth of Boomers, all of whom met the same income threshold.

According to John Burns, founder of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the rental market in 2021 was hotter than the housing market.


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Where Did Millennials Rent in 2021

Just as Millennial homebuyers favored smaller cities and towns, RentCafe, in its recent study, found that Millennial renters favored smaller cities with populations under 300,000.

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RentCafe analyzed 5.9M rental applications from RentGrow, inc. over 40,000 apartment communities.  Among the top 15 cities ranked by growth in rental applications, 11 of the top cities were small, three were medium-size with populations of 300,000 – 600,000 and one was large.

Take a look:

Millennial Rental Surge

Change in Applications Share    City                     City Size

  1. +83%                               Macon GA                Small
  2. +78%                               Mesa AZ                  Midsize
  3. +75%                               Spokane WA            Small
  4. +72%                               Kentwood MI           Small
  5. +71%                               Knoxville TN            Small
  6. +61%                               Columbus GA           Small
  7. +61%                               Arlington TX             Midsize
  8. +59%                               Peoria AZ                 Small
  9. +59%                               Bradenton FL            Small
  10. +54%                               Smyma GA               Small
  11. +54%                               Lexington KY            Midsize
  12. +54%                               Daytona Beach FL     Small
  13. +53%                               Marietta GA              Small
  14. +53%                               Murfreesboro TN       Small
  15. +51%                               Indianapolis IN         Large

Thanks to RentCafe and The New York Times.




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