What my 10000 tenants can tell us about the economy

Economic Conditions: 2008 vs. 2024

Reflecting on the past, particularly the economic downturn of 2008, provides us with critical context to understand our current situation. Today, we’re witnessing a dramatic shift in rental prices, wages, and employment rates, all under the looming challenge of inflation.

Rental Market Dynamics: 

In 2008, rental prices hovered around $700-$800 on average, with fluctuations based on location. Fast forward to 2024, and we’re seeing prices range from $1,200 to $1,800, highlighting a significant increase in housing costs.

Wage Growth: 

Minimum wages in some states have effectively doubled since 2008, offering some respite in the face of rising living costs. While in other states, the minimum wage has remained stagnant for over a decade.

Employment and Inflation: 

Today, the unemployment rate sits at approximately 3.7%, a sharp contrast to the post-2008 era. However, a combination of low unemployment with high inflation presents a complex challenge for policymakers and consumers.

Adapting to Economic Pressures:

Our discussions with tenants and observations of their coping strategies reveal a nuanced picture of how individuals navigate these turbulent economic waters.

Increased Financial Strain: 

Many tenants are working additional jobs or seeking alternative income sources to meet rising living costs. The trend towards cohabitation and seeking roommates is on the rise, as individuals look to share the burden of rent.

Eviction Trends: 

An alarming increase in evictions and move-outs due to financial stress is evident, with rates quadrupling compared to five years ago.

Innovative Payment Solutions: 

In response to these challenges, new financial services like Flex are emerging, offering tenants the flexibility to make rent payments in installments, easing the immediate financial strain.

Strategies and Solutions:

As we navigate this complex landscape, our focus remains on supporting our tenants and providing them with the resources and flexibility they need to thrive.





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