Growth in rental market poses challenge to talent mobility

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  • October 24, 2014

Rental Market Workforce Mobility Challenges

Rental fees are increasing, thanks in part to a tightening rental property market, increasing the challenges for rental market workforce mobility as renters are facing higher prices while wage raises grow at a tepid pace. Domestic relocation may be impacted as a result, posing a challenge for transferees as they look to take on a new location. Companies can provide relocated talent with help before a move, but as rent in most markets continues to mature, transferees are likely to see a larger portion of their income spent toward rent.

Rent, Number of Renters Increasing

Rent is growing in a number of major markets.

Rent is growing in a number of major markets.

According to new industry research, the number of domestic renters grew in 2013. More specifically, a recent study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that last year there were 42.4 million renters in the U.S., which represented slight growth from the 41.9 million in 2012. High housing costs continue to plague the modern-day renter as the rental property market tries to combat historically low vacancy rates. Renters made up 36.5 percent of all households in 2013, a nearly 1.5 percent increase from 2012 and close to 4 percent more than in 2006.

Major domestic metropolitan areas have experienced moderate to steep inclines in rent per household in recent years as well. The New York Times, citing real estate website Zillow, recently pointed out that 90 cities in the U.S. had a median rent that was more than 30 percent of the median gross income when factoring out utility fees. Individuals moving within domestic borders will likely have to dedicate a greater portion of their salary toward housing costs. As a result, there is less room for peripheral moving expenses, which can add up quickly.

Further research shows rent will likely increase in the near future as well. Citing research firm Capital Economics, The Times noted rent could rise as much as 4 percent this year, which is a modest incline from the 2.8 percent growth in 2013. However, as inflation in certain markets is annually at 1 percent or higher, rent increases could even outpace Capital Economics’ projections. For instance, rent in Miami costs, on average, 43 percent of the typical household income. In Chicago, that figure rose 10 percent in one year as renters give way to 31 percent of their incomes on average.

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