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Apartment Renter Incomes at a Record High

Apartment Renter Incomes at a Record High

Inflation is becoming a big topic, but here’s some good news: Apartment renter incomes are soaring as well. Median household incomes for market-rate renters signing new leases jumped to a record high of $64,656 in April 2021. That’s not only way up from the artificial low one year ago (when few leases were signed due to lockdowns) but also up 5.5% from two years ago. Income growth is most material in Class B and C apartments, while flatter in Class A. The data comes from apartment renter applications among those signing leases each month. Therefore it excludes government stimulus and only includes recurring income sources. This is yet another reminder (of many) that market-rate apartment affordability is a non-issue at a macro scale (though certainly there are always individual exceptions). It’s also a reminder that all the talk about renter aid and distress needs to be far more targeted where distress is most concentrated — which is clearly in smaller, family-owned rental properties concentrated in big coastal cities.