Real Estate

Priced out? More renters are seeking out lower cost metros

As rent is rising, renters in larger metros want out

Perhaps the rent is "too damn high" in some places after all.

Renters in Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Seattle are more likely to search for housing in more affordable areas, according to a new survey from HotPads

The report showed that in 44 of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, renters looking from outside the area are most likely to be searching from a place with a more expensive median rent, meaning that renters are potentially considering moving to a location where the rent is cheaper than what they're paying now.

Meanwhile, in five of the other six metro areas, the share of renters searching from within the area for rental homes or apartments declined in the past year, which suggests that fewer renters in these comparatively expensive places are searching locally, according to HotPads.

HotPads found that renters in Los Angeles were more likely to search for somewhere to live in Riverside, where the median rent is $985 less per month. The median rent for the United States is $1,560.

The report noted that those in more affordable areas might see more competition from "outsiders." In 10 out of 15 of the country's least expensive metro areas, the amount of "outsiders" searching for rental properties has increased over the last year. 

Meanwhile, fewer renters in the expensive places are searching locally. 

“Search behavior offers a real-time snapshot of where renters are looking and is one way to gauge where markets are headed,” said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads. “Renters in more expensive markets may be able to find relief by looking elsewhere, but even in the country’s less expensive markets, affordability can be a challenge for locals. Renters fleeing expensive markets can potentially drive up demand in their new hometown, which in turn can impact prices – especially if there’s a noticeable difference in incomes between two nearby areas.”

renting metros

(Image courtesy of HotPads. Click to enlarge.)

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