Nearly 83 percent of Bay Area renters plan to leave, says survey

Updated: Jun 2, 2018

POSTED: 04/17/17

Author: Kiley Roache

Publication: SF Gate

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

The majority of renters in American cities plan to move before they settle down. In San Francisco, this includes 82 percent of renters.


Renters in big cities are as transient and unpredictable as the millennial stars of HBO and Netflix dramedies would have us to believe.

A recent study by Apartment List surveyed 24,000 renters in 50 U.S. metros and found that 64 percent plan to move to another city before they settle down. In San Francisco metropolitan area that number is 82.8 percent.

The demographic makeup of renters helps explain the nationwide trend, according to Sydney Bennet, an Apartment List research associate who worked on the study. Many of these renters are young professionals in their 20s or 30s who move for jobs, and not necessarily to settle down permanently, Bennet says.

Where renters head is determined by jobs and affordability more than any other factors, according to the study.

While people are always moving for specific job offers, Bennet finds that many who live in metro areas with struggling economies, particularly in the Rust Belt, want to relocate to places with better economies.

Those moving out of solid job markets, like New York or the Bay Area, typically cite the exorbitant cost of living as their reason for migrating.

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