How Did Renting Change in the 2010s?

December 18, 2019
Rent apartments luxury
By anyaberkut - Adobe Stock

After the Great Recession, economic hardships forced many Americans to rent heading into the 2010s. But at the end of the decade, the renting landscape looks a lot different. Although there will always be a need for affordable apartments, rentals have seen a shift towards luxury as a growing number of wealthy Americans are choosing to rent instead of own. Now, the rental buildings are reflecting that demand with upscale amenities such as wellness gyms, pet amenities, and 24/7 concierge service. The biggest catch? As rentals get more expensive, the average number of square feet is shrinking.

When it comes to real estate, home buyers, owners, and sellers seem to have hogged all of the headlines. The past decade has been all about recovering from the housing bust and then watching home prices reach the stratosphere. But the oft-overlooked renters have had their own shifts and struggles.

In the past 10 years, rent prices have surged, renters are getting older and wealthier, and more tenants are choosing to lease housing in the suburbs instead of the big cities, according to a recent report from apartment listings site RENTCafé.

The report was based on apartment data from Yardi Matrix and PropertyShark, which are part of the same corporate family as RENTCafé. It also incorporates data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. News and World Report. Single-family rental homes were not included in the report, only apartments.

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