Nationally apartment rents have risen 64% from 1960 to 2014 according to Apartment List.  They also state that income for the same period have risen only 19%.  Reportedly 37% of all households nationwide rent their domicile, the highest figure in decades and renters are struggling to pay rent.  Austin in contrast has a much different and a much better story.  In Austin almost 53% of the population is renters and it has been this way since I moved here in 1981.  Of course the numbers have fluctuated, but Austin has a high concentration of renters for decades.  Apartment List states that the average apartment rent is currently $1,092 and the average renter is making $4.262 a month.  In 1980 those figures were $761 and $30.227 respectfully.  So in Austin wages are keeping up with the increases in rent and this is good for us owners of local residential rentals.  According to Apartment List the reason for Austin’s success are strong employment growths, attractiveness of the city, and our good friends the millennials. One definition of a millennial is someone born from 1982 to the early 2,000’s.  The USA has a reported 83.1 million millennials in 2015. These folks like their freedom to move about and therefore a big contributing influence to the overall rental population and certainly within the Austin area.  I see them coming to Austin to take good high paying jobs and rent a house.  They are also renewing their leases more frequently than in the past.  In 1971 the typical renter was someone who just graduated from UT and didn’t want to leave and either rented an apartment, condo or a duplex – that has changed a lot.

So how is Austin stacking up to her sister cities?  Apartment List reports that Dallas has increased rents from $761 to $968 on the average since 1980 but the average wage for a Dallas renter actually decreased to $37,237 from $38.406 in 1980.  And Houston has fared even worse.  In 1980 the average rent was $807 and is currently averaging $940 a month.  The average wage for a Houston renter in 1980 was $42,225 and now is only $38.447.

Now is a great time to own Austin area residential rentals!

Rick Ebert / Austin, Texas / 12 July 16