How Much Gen Z Pays on Rent by Age 30: Top 5 Metros in Texas

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Have you ever wondered how much money you spend on rent in your 20s? Well, we did dome snooping into the spending habits and income stats of Generation Z — the cool cats of today’s renter cohort — across several areas in the country.

As the sun starts setting on their 20s, Gen Z renters in Texas find themselves pondering on a decade of urban living, fascinating culture, and — yes, you guessed it — rent checks. In fact, rent payments for Texan Zoomers will add up to more than $110,000, on average, by the time they hit 30.

But how does that figure change across Lone Star’s metros? Let’s take a deep dive into the rental realities for Gen Z in Texas’ top renting hubs: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Odessa. So, buckle up as we explore how much of Zoomers’ hard-earned dollars (between ages 22 and 29) go toward rent in these major urban areas in Texas.

Austin

Deep in the heart of Texas, Austin stands out as a mecca for music, tech, and a thriving job market. Gen Z renters here are cashing in, with earnings surpassing $612,000 by the ripe age of 30. But with great income comes great rentability: Zoomers will spend nearly $161,000 on rent from ages 22 to 29. The city’s vibrant nightlife, endless food trucks, and the allure of events like SXSW make it a Gen Z hotspot, despite the rent tab running high.

view of bikers along the Austin waterfront

Dallas

Dallas is where everything’s bigger, including the paychecks and the rent bills. Gen Z renters in Dallas rake in more than $551,000 in earnings by the time they hit 30, but not without shelling out $149,000 on rent in their 20s. The city’s booming business scene and cultural diversity make it a magnet for young professionals. Renting in Dallas means access to a world-class arts district and a sports scene as competitive as the housing market.

aerial view of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas and the city's skyline in the background

Houston

Houston, we have a paycheck — and a significant portion of it goes toward rent. Gen Z renters in Houston earn close to $496,000 by age 30, with $135,000 of that dedicated to renting. The city’s space industry, sprawling parks, and a food scene that’s out of this world make it an attractive spot for Gen Zers. Renting here means you’re living in a place that mixes innovation and tradition, with a side of Texan flair.

a park and skyscrapers in the background in Houston, Texas

San Antonio

San Antonio, where history meets modern living, sees its Gen Z renters earning more than $458,000 by age 30. Compared to Austin or Dallas, the rent battle isn’t quite as steep: Here, Zoomers spend close to $129,000 on rent in their 20s. The city’s rich cultural heritage, famous River Walk, and more affordable living costs make it a unique place for Gen Zers to call home. Renting in San Antonio offers a blend of tradition and contemporary living in south-central Texas.

beautiful historic buildings and a picturesque stone bridge along the river walk in San Antonio

Odessa

In Odessa, the West Texas spirit is alive and well. Here, Gen Z renters earn more than $407,000 and pay approximately $123,000 on rent before hitting the big 3-0. Known for its cowboy culture and booming oil industry, Odessa offers a different kind of rental experience. For example, Gen Z renters in Odessa can enjoy a smaller city vibe with a community feel.

the Stonehenge replica in Odessa, Texas

From the bustling streets of Austin to the community warmth of Odessa, Gen Z renters in Texas are experiencing the full spectrum of urban living. While their earnings may be robust, the rent remains a significant slice of their income pie.

Each city offers its unique perks and quirks, making Texas a diverse playground for young renters. As Gen Z marches toward 30, they’re not just paying rent — they’re investing in experiences, opportunities, and the Texan way of life.

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Alexandra Both is a senior creative writer with RentCafe. She has more than six years of real estate writing experience as a senior editor with Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News. She is a seasoned journalist, who has previously worked in print, online and broadcast media. Alexandra has a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Community Development.

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