Major Cities Reporting More Turnover From Post-Pandemic Rental Preferences

Renters are seeking out more affordable places to live in response to remote work life and COVID-19 restrictions. Roughly 40% of renters searching for apartments between July 1 and September 30 were looking in metropolitan areas outside of cities where they currently reside, and 26% were searching in a different state, says

New rental preferences spurred by the pandemic are causing a shift in migration patterns among professionals looking for warmer climates, more affordability, and strong economic growth. As remote work becomes more prevalent, renters are taking advantage of the opportunity to move to a new city and secure housing that was once unaffordable.

Remote work life, price fluctuations, and COVID-19 restrictions are leading more renters to pick up and go as they seek out more affordable places to live, according to data released by rental listing website Apartment List’s quarterly Renter Migration Report. And some of the hottest, tech cities such as Silicon Valley’s San Jose, CA, Raleigh, NC, and Austin, TX, are seeing some of the most turnover as renters cycle in and out of these areas.

“We’re definitely seeing the remote work flexibility effect,” says Rob Warnock, senior research associate at Apartment List. “The pandemic really shifted people’s priorities and what they want out of their living space, coupled with affordability becoming a scarce commodity. People are rethinking where they want to be renters, what fits their personal lifestyle and economic situation.”

Indeed, rents in cities have dramatically increased across the country in 2021. Nationally, median rental prices bounded up more than 16% since January. In some hot cities, the increases were more than double that jump.

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