Real Estate Report

Houston boasts one of America's biggest populations of wealthy renters

Houston boasts one of America's biggest populations of wealthy renters

Latitude Med Center apartments Houston
Renting is the new owning. Photo courtesy of Latitude Med Center

Houston is home to some of the wealthiest renters in the country, according to a report from RentCafe.

RentCafe used U.S. Census income data, median home sale values from Redfin Data Center, and rent data from Yardi Matrix to work out how many households making $150,000 or more per year became renters between 2007 and 2017. Houston shows up on the top 10 list of cities with the most high earners, growing from 9,438 households in 2007 to 24,450 in 2017, an increase of over 150 percent in that period. In 2017, these big earners represented 5.1 percent of all renters in Houston.

Houston's the only Texas city in a national group that includes other such cities as Boston, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle, but the report's findings for elsewhere in Texas are just as eye-opening. Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio all land in the top 20 for cities with the most significant increase in wealthy, renter-occupied households over the 10-year period.

In 2007, there were 5,233 high-income renter households in Dallas, but in 2017, there were 15,238. That's nearly three times the growth in a decade, compared to only one-and-a-half times the growth for homeowners in the same income bracket. The number of high-income renter households grew over three times in the same period in Austin and over four times in Fort Worth and San Antonio.

Nationwide, more than 1.35 million households making $150,000 or more per year became renters between 2007 and 2017, for a 175 percent increase. Homeowners, however, only increased 67 percent during the same decade. Of the 43.3 million renters nationwide, 2.1 million are top earners. These high-income renters represent the demographic that experienced the largest boom across the U.S. given that, back in 2007, there were only 774,000.