The American dream of homeownership has been rehashed throughout the past decade, with more households renting than at any point in the last 55 years. Although renting was previously considered an alternative brought on solely by circumstances, one-third of this decade’s renters now say that it’s a matter of choice. In fact, according to our previous study, a diverse set of 23 large and mid-sized cities transitioned from owner- to renter-majority between 2010 and 2020. And five Metro Phoenix zip codes have switched from homeowner to renter majority during that time.
This time, we wondered how these changes might look at the local level. So, we put each of the 50 largest U.S. cities under the magnifying glass and analyzed the renter and owner mix of each zip code. In a first-of-its-kind analysis that uses the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we wanted to see which zip codes radically changed their structure. In other words, what zip codes do renters prefer? In doing so, we found that 101 zip codes switched to renter-majority in the last 10 years.
With the addition of these communities, renters represent the majority population in 41% or 632 of the 1,553 zip codes analyzed in the 50 largest U.S. cities.
101 Zip Codes Made the Switch From Homeownership Dream to Renter Haven
The number of renters in the U.S. rose by 12% between 2011 and 2020 — three times faster than the 4% increase in homeowners, according to the most recent U.S. Census estimates. Thus, it comes as no surprise that, during this time period, as many as 101 zip codes switched from owner- to renter-majority.
For this report, we compiled the 101 zip codes into a list and ordered them from highest to lowest percentage change in order to get a better view of where the biggest changes in the owner versus renter mix took place.
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