Massive Shifts in Renter Behavior and Historic Market Changes Summarize Renting in 2020, According to Zumper's Annual State of the American Renter Report

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Zumper, the largest privately held rental marketplace in the U.S. used by more than 15 million renters a month, released today its annual "State of the American Renter" report for 2020, which confirms that this year has been a year like no other for the rental industry. The report examines the current status of the U.S. rental market and found that there have been several major shifts (see below).

Zumper is the largest privately held rental platform in the U.S. used by more than 15 million renters a month. (PRNewsfoto/Zumper)

Zumper surveyed more than 14,000 respondents aged 18+ from all 50 states across the country as well as Washington, D.C. The online survey was sent to Zumper and PadMapper users based in the United States and shared among their family/friends from June 2020 to August 2020.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the lifestyle of the American renter and, in many instances, completely reversed trends in the rental market we have seen for years," said Anthemos Georgiades, CEO and Co-Founder of Zumper. "Our report shows that renters are more impacted than homeowners by the pandemic, and they have adjusted significant behaviors and sentiments in response."

The report reveals eight major themes:

  • Renters are moving back in with mom and dad. Nearly 50% more renters are moving back in with their parents, with millennials moving back home the most often, up 75% from this time last year. 7% more renters now live with their significant other in 2020, compared to 2019.
  • The American Dream as it relates to owning a home is dead. 1 in 3 renters believes that the American Dream does not involve homeownership, in fact 26% never plan to buy a home and more than 50% believe now is a bad time to purchase a home.
  • The majority of renters are under intense financial stress. The renter unemployment rate was 12.7%, which is 14% higher than the national unemployment rate. Additionally, more than half of renters believe the U.S. economy is not in a good state.
  • Renters have massively tightened their wallets. 32% more renters are saving more than 15% of their income this year, while those who are saving less than 15% decreased by 13% compared to a year ago.
  • Renters are moving more than ever before. 25% of renters reported relocating cities in the past year, up 33% from 2019.
  • The price gap between expensive and cheaper markets is dwindling. The gap in median price between the 8 most expensive cities and other large cities has decreased 33% from a year ago.
  • Expensive cities are experiencing historic exoduses. There has been a 30% increase from a year ago in users on Zumper's platform interested in moving out of the 8 most expensive cities. Renters are abandoning these cities in favor of cheaper, often neighboring markets. For example, Bay Area residents are moving to Sacramento, New Yorkers are heading to Newark, and D.C. renters are opting for Baltimore.
  • The country's priciest cities see the sharpest rent declines. The country's 8 most expensive cities saw the sharpest decreases in rent price compared to the rest of the country -- San Francisco, New York, Boston, Oakland, San Jose, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The median price in these 8 cities has decreased 15% from the start of the year.

The full report, including Zumper's 2020 Rental Market Analysis and 2020 Annual Renter Survey results can be found here. Over the next several weeks, Zumper will be releasing in-depth analysis of specific sections of the report on its blog. If you would like a custom analysis of the findings for a specific location or topic, please email

Survey Methodology
A total of 14,321 renters aged 18+ from all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. were surveyed June through August 2020. The survey was sent to Zumper and PadMapper users based in the United States and shared among their family and friends. All responses were gathered online, with a monetary incentive of the chance to win one of four $500 cash prizes. In an effort to minimize sampling bias and improve the representativeness of the American renter population, survey responses were calibrated on several renter characteristics to more closely match the makeup of the American renter population as estimated in the 2019 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Responses were calibrated on renter age, race/ethnicity, sex, and educational attainment using the raking algorithm used by American National Election Studies.

About Zumper
Zumper aims to make renting an apartment as easy as booking a hotel. With over 15 million visits every month, Zumper's free online and mobile rental search marketplace has become the largest startup in the industry. Headquartered in San Francisco, Zumper has 200 employees across the U.S. and acquired PadMapper in 2016. The company has raised a total of $140 million in funding from investors including, Greycroft, Dawn Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Goodwater Capital, Axel Springer, Stereo Capital, the Blackstone Group, Breyer Capital, Foxhaven Asset Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, NEA, CrunchFund, xfund, Divco West, MMC Technology Ventures, Scott Cook, and the DeWilde Family Trust. Learn more at or email

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