Landlords have had a very lucrative decade.
During the 2010s, U.S. renters paid about $4.5 trillion in rent, according to Zillow. That’s more than the 2018 GDP of the world’s fourth-largest economy, Germany.
In 2019 alone, renters paid out $512 billion in rent.
The total amount of rent paid in 2019 is also higher than the entire 2018 GDP of Thailand, which was $505 billion, and a little less than Argentina’s $518 billion.
The renters who spent the most, to no surprise, were located in New York, at $56.6 billion. Los Angeles renters paid the second-highest amount in rent, $39.2 billion, while San Francisco renters were the third-highest, at $16.4 billion.
Those three markets are where the cost of living is the highest, and where there is a lack of affordable housing.
The total amount of rent paid in 2019 was 2.9% higher than in 2018, with 43.6 million people renting across the U.S.
Phoenix saw the fastest growth in rent over the past year, up 7.5% this year compared to 2018. Las Vegas had a 5.6% increase while Charlotte had a 5.5% increase. These cities ranked the top three in terms of yearly rental appreciation.
Cincinnati rounded out the bottom list, with $2.5 billion paid in rent in 2019.
In 2019, multifamily housing alone had record-breaking numbers in terms of occupancy. More people, younger generations specifically, are opting to rent instead of own because mortgages are harder to attain, despite lower interest rates.