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Research - NOVEMBER 24, 2021

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Would-be millennial homebuyers fuel rise of lifestyle renting in 2021

by Andrea Zander

The number of higher-income millennials who are renting instead of buying a home is on the rise, according to RentCafe.

The share of applications for apartments from renters who earn more than $50,000 is at its highest level in five years, 39 percent, as many would-be homebuyers were priced out of an overly competitive real estate market in 2021.

Renting continues to be the go-to option in 2021 for a growing number of people with incomes that might allow them to purchase homes. According to the most recent analysis of rental application data, as many as 39 percent of applicants in 2021 had individual incomes of more than $50,000 — up from 32 percent five years before.

This year’s rental applicants are making on average 10 percent more than those who moved last year, the equivalent of $4,300 more in annual wages. Of all renter groups of typical home-buying age, the share of millennials with incomes greater than $50,000 saw the fastest increase in 2021 — 20

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