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Manhattan becomes third-most popular area for Gen Z renters

Young ladies shopping in New York City
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Following San Francisco and Jersey City, Manhattan is the third Zoomer hotspot recording a 63% spike in Gen Z rental applications in the past 12 months, according to Rent Cafe. 

The trend for 2022 among Gen Z is to move back to urban areas and cities. 

The report found that in 2020, Gen Z preferred small towns primarily in the Midwest and the South. 2020 was a year full of canceled travel plans and school shutdowns. Therefore, many Zoomers chose to move to a more affordable and home-like setting in times of great uncertainty and change. 

In 2022, as cities begin to open up, Gen Z is ready to move out of small towns and into large urban areas. 

“Big cities are appealing for a host of reasons—big cities offer diverse job opportunities,” said Nicholas Dempsey, Associate Professor of Sociology at Eckerd College. “Big cities offer many amenities that are not available in smaller cities or rural areas, from dining and entertainment options to public transit, to services like gyms and spas. And big cities offer opportunities for social networking—whether Gen Zers are looking for professional colleagues to bounce ideas off of, or romantic partners, they’re more likely to find someone to connect with, in a big, dense city.” 

Zoomers are starting to exert their influence in the housing market as the only generation to record an increase in renting activity in 2021. Additionally, compared to the data collected in 2020, there were 220,000 more Gen Zers who applied for an apartment the following year. 

Millennials, the generation that currently holds the title of largest renting generation, is now geared towards establishing homes and settling down. However, as recent graduates in search of jobs, Gen Z is slowly becoming the largest renting generation seeking areas that will fulfill their needs. 

“Big cities still appeal to Gen Z renters because, in addition to human diversity and skill, they offer two critical commodities: high-speed internet and technology-enhanced, greener infrastructure that includes recycling, energy-efficient apartments and the use of renewable energy sources,” said Daniela Rivero Bryant, Lecturer in Real Estate at the Tulane School of Architecture. “All that requires high public and private investment only available in major urban centers, making the city a practical place to be.”

Click here to read the full report.

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