Renters are now a majority in almost a quarter of the 100 largest U.S. cities as they shifted from owner- to renter-majority between 2006 and 2016, according to a new report from RentCafe.
Renters took over in 22 cities including key markets like Chicago, San Diego, Detroit, Austin and Sacramento, boosting the total number of renter-dominated cities to 42.
“Furthermore, over the 10-year period we analyzed, rentership growth outpaced homeownership in 97 of the 100 most populous cities,” RentCafe writes in the report.
- Almost a quarter of the 100 largest U.S. cities shifted from owner- to renter-majority between 2006 and 2016. Renters took over in 22 cities including key markets like Chicago, San Diego, Detroit, Austin and Sacramento, boosting the total number of renter-dominated cities to 42.
- Furthermore, over the 10-year period rentership growth outpaced homeownership in 97 of the 100 most populous cities.
- Which are the markets with the highest proportion of renters? Two cities in New Jersey lead the way, Newark and Jersey City, followed by Miami, New York, Boston, and Orlando.
- Here's a fact: the total U.S. population gained 23.7 million people during the past 10 years. At the same time, the number of renters increased by 23 million, and homeowners by less than 700,000.
Renters took over 22 of the largest cities
The report states, “Though this shocking imbalance would have had to go on for a while longer to convert America into a renter nation, it was enough to tip the balance in some of the largest cities that used to be dominated by homeowners. In fact, renters have become the majority in almost a quarter of the 100 most populous cities.
“Back in 2006 only 20 out of the 100 largest cities had more renters than owners. A decade was enough to boost the number of renter-dominated cities to 42.”
The table below contains the 22 big cities where the number of renters has exceeded that of homeowners between 2006 and 2016.
In 8 of the cities listed above, the overall population has decreased. In Toledo, OH; Honolulu, HI; Santa Ana, CA; Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL this relative desolation is attributable exclusively to the shrinkage of the owner population, as the number of renters has increased in each of them.
In spite of large gains, many cities still a long way from having a renter majority
You may have expected to find only fast-growing cities on this list, but you shouldn’t forget that we are ranking the cities by proportional growth, so the placements have a lot to do with the initial size of a city’s renter community. When a city already has five million renters, a decade is barely enough to produce a remarkable proportional growth. This is how New York City had no chance to make it to the top 10 with a sorry 4.5% growth rate—in spite of adding close to 440K renters, more than San José’s entire renter population and more than double that of Raleigh, NC or Cleveland, OH. But in case you can’t imagine a study without seeing NYC rank high in a comparison, we have good news.