Staying Put: Young Adult Renters are Moving at Declining Rates
While higher shares of young adults move into apartment buildings annually, moving rates for this age group are in decline, keeping with the broader national trend.
Apartment Buildings Experience Higher Millennial Turnover Rates
As the generation hit hardest by the Great Recession, young Americans are moving less frequently than their parents and grandparents.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for the overall U.S. population, those who moved within the previous year decreased dramatically from 20% in 1985 to 10% by 2018.
Focusing here on young adults (Millennials and Gen Z age 18 and over) by rental property types, multifamily properties have comparatively higher rates of recent movers, including higher shares moving to another state.
Among young adults in small asset multifamily, 36% moved in the previous year, primarily moving within states (28%), as shown below. Of the young renters who moved to a new state, 7% came from another state and 2% made the move from another country¹.
In large asset multifamily, young adults who moved within a year accounted for a 39% share. This included a greater portion of moves from outside the state, at 9%.
In single-family rentals, a larger share of young adult renters stayed put beyond the 12-month Census survey period.
Young Adults are Not Moving as Frequently
While young adults have commonly moved in multifamily properties, they are beginning to shift toward the national trend of moving less frequently.
The share of recent movers among young adults in small asset multifamily declined by 3.1 percentage points from 2015 to 2017. This is compared to just a half a percentage point decline in large asset multifamily, as shown below.
Out-of-state moves ticked down a bit in small properties, compared to a slight increase in large apartment buildings.
Consequently, the share of young renters who did not move increased across all property types. Small apartment properties and single-family rentals experienced the most substantial share gains.
While unemployment rates are at historic lows, declining moving rates potentially correlate with uneven employment opportunities. Varying long-term job stability can impact young adults’ ability to relocate. In a follow up to this blog, we will dive deeper into moving trends at the metro-level for a closer look across the nation.
1 All data is sourced from the American Community Survey (ACS), unless otherwise stated. ACS statistics are sample-based estimates of the compositional profile of the total population in the given year of data collection, and include a margin of error.