NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What can $1,000 bring you in an apartment rental?
It's a question more Americans ask every day. According to the National Association of Realtors, there are 40 million renters in the U.S. today, but that number should rise by another 6 million over the next 10 years as homeownership grows too expensive for many Americans.
Respondents to a July study by the NAR on renting trends says student loans are the biggest reason for avoiding homeownership although it's not the only reason. Higher home prices and tougher mortgage lending standards also add to the renter population.
"Student loan debt is a concern for many consumers in today's market, especially first-time buyers," NAR president Gary Thomas says. "Buyers with student loan debt may find it difficult to access mortgage credit, as well as save for a down payment. Pending mortgage finance regulations requiring higher down payments could also contribute to the already tight lending environment."
In general, Apartments.com says location is what continues to matter most, but even in pricey cities such as New York and San Francisco, $1,000 can still get a good apartment if you're "creative" about it. The survey says splitting an apartment with a roommate and committing to a longer-term lease are at the top of the list of ways to maximize apartment budgets.
"There are still many rental properties available in top U.S. markets that have an average monthly rent of $1,000 or less," says Dick Burke, president of Apartments.com. "Despite the fact that we're experiencing one of the lowest apartment vacancy rates in more than a decade, apartment seekers who remain flexible by looking at a variety of neighborhoods, apartment sizes and living arrangements often end up securing the best deals."