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Higher Rents Hit Young Workers Hardest

With rents skyrocketing throughout the U.S., many young workers are having to take on additional jobs or roommates to pay for housing, according to Reuters (subscription).

What’s going on: “Household rents in 2021 jumped 10% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Census Bureau estimates released last week. The figures came as rising healthcare and rental costs pushed U.S. consumer prices up unexpectedly last month.”

  • Those hardest hit by the increases have been “recent college graduates and other new entrants to the workforce, who have little in savings and cannot afford to buy a house.”

“Unprecedented”: Rents have risen most among properties that are operated by management companies.

  • “Annual rent growth there hit 11.6% at the end of 2021 and the start of 2022, about three times what it was in the five years prior to the pandemic, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.”
  • Renters of color experience more hardship in finding housing, according to a recent Zillow survey, which found that certain minorities were required to pay more in application fees and security deposits than white tenants. 

The COVID-19 factor: Landlords are seeking to recoup lost rent from 2020, when COVID-19 led to relocations and steep declines in apartment tenancy.

Blocking the way? Millennials are now staying in rentals longer, “sort of stonewalling the new rental population that was behind them,” Michael Keane, adjunct professor of urban planning at New York University, told Reuters.

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