Many Americans have relocated since the start of the pandemic, and many more say they're considering a move as coronavirus restrictions force a lot of people to work remotely and spend more time than ever at home.
While some renters are taking advantage of deals on homes and apartments in big cities, others are looking to settle down somewhere that offers more space. Suburban areas are especially popular since they tend to be less dense and less expensive.
Researchers at real-estate website RentCafé analyzed apartments with 50 units or more built between 2016 and 2020 to find the suburbs with the most new rental buildings. They found that Southern regions such as Texas have seen a recent boom in apartment development.
Of the top five suburbs with the most new buildings since 2016, in fact, three are in the Lone Star State.
The study includes population and infrastructure data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Yardi Matrix. Grow used figures from RentCafé and Zillow to find typical rent value in each area. Here are the top five suburbs with the most new apartments and how much it costs to rent there.
Number of new apartments in the last 5 years: 8,044
Average monthly rent: $1,411
Number of new apartments in the last 5 years: 4,843
Average monthly rent: $1,301
Video by Helen Zhao
Number of new apartments in the last 5 years: 4,805
Average monthly rent: $1,441
Number of new apartments in the last 5 years: 4,559
Average monthly rent: $1,266
Number of new apartments in the last 5 years: 3,788
Average monthly rent: $1,476
Nearly 9 million Americans have relocated since the start of the pandemic, according to the National Association of Realtors, and a third of Americans would consider relocating in the next 12 months if given the opportunity to work remotely indefinitely, per recent data from Redfin.
Not everyone can work from home, however, and some movers are practicing caution with their leases. Renters moving now are not making long-term commitments to their new places, and data shows there has been an upward trend in people signing a lease for six months or less.
Video by Mariam Abdallah
As of November, just over 16% of renters searching to move to a new metro were looking to sign a lease of six months or less, Apartment List found. That's a 40% increase since January 2020. Among those looking for a new place within their current metro, about 10% are looking for a short-term lease, compared to 7% in January.
What's more, Redfin found in its study that most of those who said they were relocating did not go very far. Nearly 9 in 10 of those who have already relocated moved less than 50 miles away. And about 7 in 10 of those who want to move anticipate only going a similarly short distance.
It's important to look at the full picture if you're thinking about moving, experts say. Signing a short-term lease or moving within the same metro can be a good way to test the waters.
Whether you're moving for more space or a change of scenery, you'll want to be content where you are. There's no "one-size-fits-all" approach to deciding on a move, Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster, recently told Grow. "Crunch some numbers to see what you're saving. Get analytical, evaluate pros and cons either in a spreadsheet or a list, look at the advantages and disadvantages financially, personally, professionally — and then make a decision."
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