Movers Have More to Spend on Rent
July 19, 2021
Updated July 19, 2021
2 minutes

Renters are spending more on post-pandemic moves.

Apartment hunters have more disposable income to spend on rent. The Apartment List Renter Migration Report for the second quarter of 2021 shows Americans are moving at a higher rate than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have more money to spend. Apartment List reviewed searches between April 1 and June 17.

Analysis reports 16% of full-time workers moved between April 2020 and April 2021, up 2% from 2019 and the first-time migration increased in more than a decade. On average, residents are spending 6.5% more in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2021 on their rental budgets. The average monthly budget was $1,335 in Q2, much higher than typical increases from the first to second quarter. In 2020, budgets increased 2.3% and 2.6% the previous year between the first and second quarters.

The farther the move, the more robust the budget. Renters moving to a new city in a different state budgeted $1,544, while movers in their current city had a budget of $1,249. This trend of farther moves and higher budgets proved true among the 100 largest metro areas.

Data also shows higher budgets have been found in locations with large year-over-year (YoY) rent growth. Atop the list is Boise, Idaho, with 36% rent growth; the city also had 11% out-of-town budget YoY growth. The top 15 metros with the fastest YoY rent growth also had out-of-town budgets larger than local budgets. Boise had a 9% difference between out-of-town and local budgets.

Columbia, S.C., had a 19% difference between out-of-town and local budgets and 17% YoY rent growth. Rochester, N.Y., had 19% YoY out-of-town budget growth, 19% rent growth but only an 8% difference between out-of-town and local budgets—the smallest of the top 15 metros.