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As rental rates in the U.S. continue to climb, a recent report from real estate marketplace platform Zillow shows that rental rates grew by 0.6% in April alone and by 3.6% year-over-year. Currently, the average monthly rental rate in the U.S. is $1,997. 

To comfortably afford a rental at that price — meaning spending no more than 30% of their income — a renter would need to make nearly $80,000 a year ($79,889). Five years ago, a renter would have needed to make less than $60,000 to comfortably afford the typical U.S. rental ($58,692). 

Since 2019, U.S. rents have grown 1.5 times faster than wages, according to an analysis by Zillow and StreetEasy that highlights the challenging financial landscape for today’s renters. More recently, softening rent growth — thanks in large part to strong multifamily construction that’s helped absorb demand for apartments — has helped renters begin to catch up. National rent growth last year (3.4%) was outpaced by wage growth (4.3%).

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