Renters Now Outnumber Homeowners In Big City Suburbs

Renters now outnumber homeowners in previously owner-dominated suburbs, and more communities are set to flip soon, according to a report from RentCafe.

Over the past ten years, 103 suburbs have flipped their majorities from homeowners to renters. Many of the communities are in suburbs around Miami, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Suburbs in the U.S.’s 50 largest metros gained 4.7 million people in that time, of which 79% are renters. 

About 21 million people rent suburban homes in those metros, 3.7 million more than in 2010. The number of renters grew 22% between 2010 and 2019, while the number of suburban homeowners grew by only 3%.

Fifty-five percent of renters are under 45 years old with median household earnings around $50,000, mostly Millenials and Gen Zs avoiding high city rent prices.

“With the increase in remote work, short-term projects and ‘side hustles,’ there’s every reason to believe that the future will be a more transitory, migratory existence. Most of this migration will be toward cities and urban landscapes, where even the suburbs will cluster most closely to urban areas,” said Dr. Kenneth Laundra, associate professor of sociology at Millikin University.

More suburbs are on the verge of becoming majority renter. RentCafe estimated 57 more will flip within the next five years if growth continues as it has. The report notes that the pandemic has exacerbated this trend as Americans working from home look to the suburbs for more space and larger homes.

Most of the 57 suburbs are in Florida and California, but Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, and Ohio are included on that list. Maple Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland, is expected to flip soonest, with its share of renters nearly doubling in the last decade.