Affordable Rental Housing is Increasingly Difficult to Find

New research shows that affordable rental housing may not really exist in 11 major U.S. cities, and their surrounding regions.

A new report reveals a lack of affordable rental housing in major U.S. metros.

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- It’s not just the 11 largest U.S. metro areas that the new report focuses on. What is also very telling is what happened outside of those cities between 2006 and 2014, where most of the growth in the rental market happened.

Researchers at the New York University (NYU) Furman Center, commissioned by Capital One to examine the national affordable rental housing landscape, examined rental market trends in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC. These regions comprise about 25 percent of the U.S. population.

What they found is that more people need to rent than the housing stock available, rents are increasing and renters need more roommates to afford their homes--nationwide.

In 2014, there were nearly 22 million more people renting in metro areas in the U.S. than there had been in 2006, and while the renter populations within principal cities increased by more than nine million, the majority of the growth occurred outside of those cities. Indeed, the renter population in the suburban areas outside principal cities grew by more than a third—by more than 12 million people—between 2006 and 2014," researchers said in the report Renting in America's Largest Metropolitan Areas.

As recently as 2014, rental units had higher rents and were less affordable than units available the previous year. The researchers generally found the trends foreboding in that greater challenges to affordable rental housing are yet to come.

Of note, rental vacancies dwindled in all of the metro regions studied, except Miami. That city showed a slight increase in available rental units, according to researchers, but it also had the second-highest growth in rental housing stock.

Download the report and key findings on NYU's Furman Center website.

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