Renters spent more than Bezos’ net worth this year — and rents are still growing

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

The neverending rent race

American renters spent a startling amount on housing this year. According to new data, they paid a whopping $504.4 billion in rent across 2018 — nearly $13 billion more than last year and three times the net worth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

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Renting costs more than Belgium makes in a year

According to the latest HotPads Rent Report, American renters spent more than $504 billion on housing this year. That’s $12.6 billion more than 2017 and about $10 billion more than the total GDP of Belgium.

The average national rent currently sits at $1,475 per month — a 3 percent increase over one year ago. Though that’s quite a jump, rent appreciation has actually slowed over recent months.

In fact, according to the HotPads report, the slowdown in rent hikes may even put homeownership within reach for some renters.

“This steady slowdown in rent appreciation has influenced the total number of renters on the market: there was a slight dip in the number of households that rent their home in 2018. Stagnant rent growth has given renters who are looking to buy greater ability to save for a down payment in recent years, putting more eligible home buyers on the market.”

Half of renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent

Which cities spend the most on rent?

New Yorkers paid about 10 percent of the country’s total rent costs this year, putting nearly $56 billion toward rent alone.

Other cities that spent big change on rent include Los Angeles ($40.4 billion), San Francisco ($17 billion), Washington, D.C. ($14.8 billion), Miami ($12.7 billion), Dallas ($12.3 billion), Boston ($11.3 billion), San Diego ($10.2 billion) and Houston ($10.4 billion).

New study reveals Millennials spend nearly $100K in rent costs by age 30

The biggest rent gains were seen in Orlando, where rents jumped nearly 7 percent over the year. Las Vegas and Phoenix also saw serious appreciation, with rents increasing 6.5 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

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