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Austin’s booming with affluent renters, report says

City proving fertile ground for a tenants making $150,000 and up

Contemporary apartment building with angled balconies Shutterstock

It’s not exactly a secret that Austin reliably has the highest rents in the state these days. While it’s not even the fastest-growing city in Texas, it has also seen a jump in what a recent report describes as a relatively new breed of tenants: Those households making at least $150,000 a year.

According to real estate research and apartment listings site RENTCafe, the number of affluent renters in Austin has doubled compared to that of home buyers since 2007. That’s a jump from from 25,300 to 50,300, making it among the top 20 major U.S. cities to experience rapid growth in that rarefied segment of tenants.

While the growth rate of well-heeled rental segment is still much higher in other U.S. cities (notably Seattle, Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; and even Fort Worth, Texas), it puts Austin on another list of places that reflect national trends.

Nationally, of the 43.3 million renters nationwide, 2.1 million are “top earners,” according to the report. That’s a huge boom in the demographic: RentCafe reports that there were only 774,000 such renters in the country 12 years ago. (Of course, $150,000 went a lot farther in 2007—it’s unclear if the site’s numbers have been adjusted for inflation or other significant factors in the U.S. economy.)

According to a year-end report from RentCafe, Austin area apartment costs climbed 4.4 percent over the past year.