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A Blend of Stability and Gradual Changes in the U.S. Rental Market (March 2024 Rental Market Report)

The rental market this November displayed a pattern of steady trends punctuated by minor fluctuations. In November, the typical rent across the United States stood at $1,982 according to the Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI), reflecting a slight decrease of 0.2% from the previous month. This movement, or lack thereof, aligns closely with the pre-pandemic norms for this time of year, which traditionally saw little to no change month-over-month.

However, when we zoom out to view the broader picture since the beginning of the pandemic, rents have surged by a striking 29.4%. Year-over-year, rents have increased 3.3%, underscoring the continued upward trend in the rental market.

Navigating Rent Affordability and Vacancy Rates

The aspect of rent affordability remains a vital concern. In October 2023, the most recent data available, the median household would have to allocate 30% of their income towards a new rental. That is a slight increase from last year and right on the edge of what is generally considered affordable housing. In more expensive markets, renters face a steeper burden, with a higher portion of their income needed for rent. For instance, in Miami, the median renter needs to allocate 43.6% of their income towards rent. In the New York metro area, this figure stands at 40.7%, while in Los Angeles, renters must spend 38% of their income on rent.

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