For millennials, the rent really has really gotten too damn high.
Between the ages of 22 and 30, the median total amount millennials spent on rent was $92,600, according to a new report from real-estate website RentCafe. That’s $10,400 more than the inflation-adjusted amount that members of Generation X paid at the same age and $21,600 more than Baby Boomers spent. Millennials are generally defined as the group born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s.
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And while millennials are earning more than previous generations, the share of income they must devote to rent is nonetheless higher. Their rent burden is 45%, versus 41% for Gen Xers and 36% for Baby Boomers. “By the time Millennials might be thinking about buying a home or starting a family, they are struggling with rent and student loan debt instead,” the report said.
But younger Americans are having an even rougher go of it when it comes to affording rent. A 30-year-old millennial in 2017 would have spent $93,400 on rent over the previous eight-year period, versus $85,800 for a millennial at the age of 40 during that same time in life.
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Things may only get worse for Generation Z — based on current prices, they can expect to spend a median of $102,100 on rent between the ages of 22 and 30. Gen Z’s preferences when it comes to the homes they live in though could be exacerbating the problem. “Although not very different from Millennials, Gen Zers are more tech savvy and highly reliant on technology,” the researchers wrote. “Technological updates are likely to drive monthly rents further up, therefore Gen Zers should expect to pay more in order to get more.”
RentCafe examined Census Bureau data to produce median figures for income and gross rental payments for each generation. To calculate the median rental spending, RentCafe only referred to single individuals paying the average monthly rent.