The results are in from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The survey, which replaced the decennial census long-form questionnaire in 2005, offers a fresh look at how communities are changing. Multifamily-relevant data includes everything from metro areas with a large number of renter households to areas with the highest rents and newest rental housing stock.

Paul Emrath, assistant staff vice president of housing policy research at NAHB, says he was surprised by the number of Southern cities listed as the top metro areas with at least 500,000 renter households (which includes both single- and multifamily homes). “We don't see the Northeast dominating quite as much as I thought it would,” says Emrath, who expected Philadelphia, ranked eighth, to be higher. “The Southern places are growing more and getting more of everything—including renters.”

NAHB also compiled a list of the top five metropolitan areas where half of the units were built in 1989 or later, four of which are relatively small. Topping the list: St. George, Utah, where half of the rental stock has been built since 1992. For a complete list of data, visit

RENTERS RULE Metro Areas with at Least 500,000 Renter Households

1. New York/ White Plains/ Wayne, NY-NJ - 2.5 million renters
2. Los Angeles/ Long Beach/ Glendale, Calif. - 1.6 million
3. Chicago/ Naperville/ Joliet, Ill. - 918, 325 renters
4. Houston/ Sugar Land/ Baytown, Texas - 674, 668 renters
5. Atlanta/ Sandy Springs/ Marietta, Ga. - 579, 788 renters
Source: 2005 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau