Home News U.S. rents surge, leaving behind generation of younger workers

U.S. rents surge, leaving behind generation of younger workers

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Sept 21 (Reuters) – The cost of renting a home in the United States has skyrocketed, with young workers feeling the most pain, many of whom are hiring extra jobs or roommates to cover their housing costs. increase.

Household rents in 2021 jumped 10% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Census Bureau estimates released last week. The figure was driven by an unexpected rise in US consumer prices last month due to rising health care and rental costs.

Data from the agency’s annual American Community Survey shows that the median U.S. rent will rise from $941 in 2019 to $1,037 in 2021. 5% increase from 2018 to 2019.

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Among those most affected are other recent college graduates and other new entrants to the workforce who have little savings and cannot afford to buy a home.

Take Maeve Kozlark, a PhD student at New York University. The 23-year-old spent a year in an apartment with no lock on the door in Queens, New York City. Her landlord refused to fix her latch, which prompted her to make her TikTok video about it.

A year later, it had 230,000 views, but was still unlocked when the landlord announced a $1,000 rent increase on top of the current $2,500 rent, Kozlark said. . She moved out of her apartment in June.

Kozlark, who considers himself lucky to have found a new place to rent in Queens for $3,300, said, “I started a crazy search to find something affordable instead of a shoe box. It’s almost impossible. ‘ said.

Similar reports of sudden price increases and rental disputes abound across the country. In Austin, Texas, 22-year-old Skyler Lee signed her one-year lease for her two-bedroom apartment, and she and her boyfriend together paid $1,950 a month in rent. I’m here.

Within a month of moving in, a comparable apartment in the building was rented out for $2,400 per month. This is the price Lee plans to pay to renew the lease next year.

In Chicago, 23-year-old Kelvin Angelo Cupay decided to stop renting altogether and move in with his family in Chicago. Because he expects he’ll have to pay nearly $1000 a month in rent while he’s looking for his job.

On the West Coast, 21-year-old Celine Pun was the first to add a flatmate to her Santa Barbara apartment to keep costs affordable. But when the monthly rent of $600 for a three-bedroom apartment rose by $50 and several of her five housemates left, she was forced to move.

“It was a very frustrating process,” Pan said.

“Truly Unheard of”

Adding to the woes of renters, rents in the professionally managed sector (usually large properties run by management companies) have risen even more dramatically.

Annual rent growth from the end of 2021 to early 2022 will reach 11.6%, nearly triple what it was in the five years before the pandemic, according to the Harvard Center for Multihousing Research. At the same time, post-pandemic demand surged, driving vacancy rates to their lowest level since 1984.

“It’s a truly unprecedented market in many ways,” said Whitney Airgood Oblicki, senior research associate at the Harvard Housing Center.

A key factor in all of this is the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the coronavirus spread in 2020, wealthy people moved to villas and remote areas to avoid infection, leading to vacancies and drastic reductions in rent in many cities.

Now, landlords are trying to make up for those losses while recouping the increased maintenance and insurance costs, according to Alexandra Alvarado, marketing director of the National Association of Apartment Owners, which represents small landlords.

Supply is scarce in big cities and rural areas, where more people have moved to work remotely, so landlords can ask prospective tenants to show higher incomes than previously required, he said. she said.

Adding to the demand, millennials, mostly in their 30s, will continue to live in apartments and be unable to buy a home, says Michael Keane, an adjunct professor of urban planning at New York University.

“They’re kind of sabotaging the new rental population that was behind them,” he said.

Some minority groups may also feel more pressured. According to Ingrid Gould-Ellen, professor of urban policy and planning at New York University, black renters are more likely to own homes that are an important source of wealth in the United States and have parents who can support them financially. is low.

A recent study by real estate firm Zillow found that renters of color are asked to pay higher security deposits and application fees than white renters.

All of this has created a market in which just securing an apartment can be a big deal in some areas.In New York City, long known for its competitive and expensive rental market, apartment hunters , reported encountering landlords looking for tenants with an annual income of at least 40 times the monthly rent, or guarantors earning more than 80 times the monthly rent.

Caleb Simon, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, started delivering with Uber Eats while working a full-time job at a think tank to secure housing. Still, Simon says he could only find an apartment in New York because one of his roommate’s parents acted as a guarantor.

“It’s very difficult and privileged to be able to get even the cheapest apartments on the market here,” Simon said.

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Reporting by Rose Horowitch, New Haven, Connecticut; Editing by Donna Bryson and Deepa Babington

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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