Although coastal hubs such as New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are often at the center of rental affordability debates, a new study published by Zillow on Friday revealed renters across the South are also feeling the sting of rapidly growing median rent prices.

Over the past decade, the median rent has increased by more than 80 percent in Austin, Texas (+92.6 percent); Raleigh, North Carolina (+91.0 percent); Denver, Colorado (+88.2 percent); Atlanta, Georgia (+84.5 percent); Orlando, Florida (+83.9 percent); Dallas, Texas (+83.7 percent); Nashville, Tennessee (+83.4 percent) and Charlotte, North Carolina (+80.3 percent).

Renters in those locales have spent a whopping $335.4 billion on rent over the past 10 years, with $47 billion being spent in 2019 alone.

Even with the enormous growth in rent in secondary markets, they still pale in comparison to the ultra-expensive rents tenants are paying on the coasts.

Since 2009, New Yorkers ($506.9B), Los Angelenos ($345.9B), and San Franciscans ($141.1B)  have collectively paid more than $993 billion on rent, with $112.2 billion being spent this year. Chicagoans and Washingtonians weren’t far behind with decade spending totals of $137.7 billion and $133.6 billion, respectively.

Although these are the most extreme examples of median rent and median rent growth, Zillow said renters across the country have felt the pinch of heightened housing costs. The median national rent has increased 46.5 percent over the past 10 years, with a 2.9 percent increase from 2018 to 2019.

However, there may be some relief on the way — Zillow Group Economist Joshua Clark said there’s room for the trend to make a 180-degree turn as more renters (namely, Millennials) move toward homeownership.

“While the total amount of rent paid has increased each year this decade, that trend is by no means immutable,” Clark said while noting rent growth will slow to just under 2 percent in 2020.

“With rental appreciation expected to decrease in the coming year and a homeownership rate that has been ticking up over the past few years, a small or even negative change in total rental spending could be in the cards in the early 2020s.”

The top 17 markets. See the full list here.

Email Marian McPherson

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