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Number of affluent folks renting rose 217%, the stigma is dead

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) All over the country affluent Americans are choosing to rent at high price points. Why the shift toward renting?

first time home buyer young couple renting divorce

Times are changing

In the last ten years, the number of renting households earning $150k+ per year increased by a staggering 217 percent.

For context, the market 10 years ago saw the highest home sales rates in the last 50 years. And although buying is on the rise, renting popularity has exploded.


I see London, I see France

The ratio of home price to rent price has seriously leveled out during the last decade. In most of the US, renting has become just as affordable as buying; in San Francisco, a notoriously expensive market, renting has become much more affordable than buying; NYC remains the only market where renting popularity has steadily decreased as rent prices in Manhattan soar and home prices in the boroughs slowly increase.

Microcosmic pockets of American wealth show the same trend. Forth Worth experienced a 77 percent increase in high-income renting in 2015. The number undoubtedly reflects the DFW metro area’s unprecedented job growth.

But it’s not just tech-savvy cities like San Francisco, DFW and NYC; affluent renters are populating the entire country from Memphis to Detroit to Charlotte to Phoenix.

Blame FOMO

Why the shift? Renters make up almost a third of all American households. Think about that for a moment. One in three rent.

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With the dawn of a digital, on-the-go age behind us, Americans are trending towards an all-you-can-eat buffet of information and experience. And they’re looking for it in cities.

“‘Unlike their parents, who calculated their worth in terms of square feet, ultimately inventing the McMansion, […] this generation is more interested in the amenities of the city itself: great public spaces, walkability, diverse people and activities with which they can participate,’” says Georgia tech professor Ellen Dunham-Jones.

It’s just another reason to keep an eye out for trends beyond the real estate world. Today’s Snapchatters are tomorrow’s renters and/OR homeowners. Plugging in could illuminate the Next Big Thing and keep you in the most advantageous position.


Written By

Becky Nathanson is a Staff Writer at The American Genius. She has a Master's degree in music from Indiana University and a Bachelor's degree in music and creative writing from the University of Michigan. In addition to writing, she has performed as an opera singer on major international stages. When she isn't making her voice heard by pen or in song, she is a serious amateur chef.


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