The rental market is comprised of two specific groups of individuals: those who have to rent out of necessity and those who choose to rent. HomeUnion recently released a list of the top 20 most expensive places to rent for those who have a choice — and as real estate agents know, choices can always change.

  • The most expensive ZIP code reported was 10007 in Tribeca in New York City, where the average rent is $8,762.
  • The ZIP code with the highest percentage of renter households is Newport-Jersey City, where 46 percent of households are renters.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, nine million renter households were created, marking the largest increase in any 10-year period.

The rental market is comprised of two specific groups of individuals: those who have to rent out of necessity and those who choose to rent. HomeUnion recently released a list of the top 20 most expensive places to rent for those who have a choice — and as real estate agents know, choices can always change.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Maponics, HomeUnion analyzed ZIP codes where more than 25 percent of housing stock is made up of rental properties and residents have a median income in the 75th percentile.

“Our list of the high-priced neighborhoods and submarkets for renters-by-choice indicates an ongoing shift in preferences among an affluent portion of the U.S. population,” Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion, said in a statement.

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According to data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the number of rental households increased 9 million over a 10-year period ending in 2015.

Tribeca in New York City took the top spot. The celeb-friendly neighborhood, ZIP code 10007, holds a 38 percent renter rate with an average rent of $8,762. The median household income in the ZIP is $204,822.

San Francisco’s FiDi/Rincon Hill has 34 percent of residents renting, and the average rent is $4,980. The 94105 ZIP code is home to residents that make a median $151,879. In nearby Oakland, the most expensive ZIP code for renters-by-choice was reported to be Rockridge, or the 94618 ZIP code. The median income here in the ZIP $120,993 and the average rent was reported at $4,670.

Venturing south to Los Angeles, the most expensive ZIP code for renters is Manhattan Beach, where the average rent is $6,323. The percentage of renter households in Manhattan Beach, or 90266, is 25 percent.

The ZIP code reported with the highest share of renter households was Northern New Jersey’s Newport-Jersey City, where 46 percent of households were renters.

In second place was Chicago’s Loop. The Loop ZIP code 60601 has a 40 percent residential renter rate and a median income of $97,645. The average rent in the Loop was reported at $2,275.

Making just a sliver less, Houston’s Rice Military ZIP code of 77007 ranked just below the Loop. The median household income here was $97,546, though the average rent was a bit higher, at $2,858. HomeUnion reported that 33 percent of the ZIP’s households were renters.

In the Washington D.C., 27 percent of households are comprised of renters in the Herndon neighborhood, or the 20171 ZIP code. The median household income here is $142,488, and the average rent is reported at $2,462.

“An increasing number of people are renters-by-choice, opting to live within walking distance or a short commute of their office building, workplace, university, community services or nightlife, instead of the suburbs,” Hovland said. “In other words, the American Dream of homeownership continues to fade, while renting by choice is an expanding reality for a large segment of the population.”

Email Kimberly Manning

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