Rent / income levels for apartments in units at market rates remain stable

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Apartment rent / income levels continue on the same trajectory they have seen over the past decade, with median ratios remaining at around 22% from 2010 to 2020 in professionally managed market rate units , according to new data from RealPage.

The median household income for this type of property reached $ 65,000 in 2020, well above the median income of $ 42,500 among all types of rental housing. RealPage notes, noting that recent data from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies suggests that about half of all renters pay at least 30% of their income on rent nationwide.

Growth in rents in the industry has been offset by rising revenues for this category of units, and RealPage analysis of the decade-long dataset reveals that affordability is inversely correlated with the level of rents.

“Renters in the more expensive homes tend to spend the lower share of their income on rent, while tenants in the cheapest homes spend a bit more… however, the results should not be misinterpreted. to suggest that affordability issues don’t exist, ”the report notes. “Previous studies have conclusively shown challenges, but few have looked at the differences between types of rental housing. ”

Affordability in the 50 largest metros in the country also varies very little, which is perhaps surprising. RealPage data shows rent-to-income levels in professionally managed units in 2020 ranged from 17.8 in Pittsburgh to 25.1% in Riverside. Conversely, income levels vary widely across metropolitan areas, with the median household income for new leaseholders in property type peaking at $ 150,000 in San Francisco and $ 40,000. $ in Memphis and Greensboro / Winston-Salem.

Rent collection also remained high in professionally managed units, according to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council.

“RealPage analysis shows that affordability is generally not an issue in luxury rentals. But the real challenge is an environment that makes it extremely difficult for rental housing developers to build anything other than high-rent luxury apartments – with restrictive zoning and widespread NIMBYism across the country, further complicated by development costs. high, ”the report notes.


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