Department of Numbers

Detroit Michigan Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Detroit, MI (the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro area) was $871 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Detroit was $879 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Detroit median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Detroit rental vacancy rates, Detroit rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Detroit.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Detroit Michigan (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Michigan Median Gross Rent $803 +2.42% +7.07%
Detroit, MI Median Gross Rent $871 +2.59% +6.87%

Detroit, MI Real Gross Rent Trends

At $871, real median gross rent in Detroit was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005. Average gross rent for Detroit peaked in real terms in 2008 at $881 and is now $2 (0.23%) lower. From a recent low of 833.0 in 2011, real average gross rent has now increased by $46 (5.52%).

Real Gross Rent in Detroit: Detroit MI Median, Detroit MI Average, Michigan Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Detroit

Date US
Median
Michigan
Median
Detroit, MI
Median
Detroit, MI
Average
2015 $959 $803 $871 $879
2014 $930 $784 $849 $861
2013 $898 $762 $823 $847
2012 $886 $750 $815 $833
2011 $887 $752 $820 $833
2010 $901 $769 $835 $850
2009 $905 $769 $841 $867
2008 $920 $788 $857 $881
2007 $874 $756 $822 $841
2006 $883 $781 $857 $869
2005 $858 $772 $844 $859

Detroit Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Detroit Michigan was 4.89% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Detroit Michigan

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Michigan 5.19% -0.69% -1.54%
Detroit, MI 4.89% -1.26% -2.26%

Trends in Detroit, MI Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Detroit peaked in 2006 at 11.25%. Since then it has fallen by 6.36% to 4.89%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Detroit MI, Michigan, US

Rental vacancy rate in Michigan

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Detroit

Date US Michigan Detroit, MI
2015 5.85% 5.19% 4.89%
2014 6.32% 5.88% 6.15%
2013 6.49% 6.04% 6.34%
2012 6.77% 6.73% 7.15%
2011 7.40% 7.72% 8.42%
2010 8.17% 9.60% 10.18%
2009 8.43% 9.48% 11.05%
2008 7.86% 9.73% 10.38%
2007 7.87% 9.66% 10.76%
2006 7.70% 10.42% 11.25%
2005 7.74% 10.09% 9.59%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Detroit, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Detroit, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.49% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Detroit Michigan Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Michigan 18.86% -0.11% -0.29%
Detroit, MI 19.49% -0.02% +0.10%

Trends in Detroit, MI Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Detroit household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2010 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 19.74%. Since then it has fallen by 0.25% to 19.49%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Detroit MI, Michigan, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Detroit Michigan

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Detroit Michigan

Date US Michigan Detroit, MI
2015 20.63% 18.86% 19.49%
2014 20.89% 18.97% 19.51%
2013 20.78% 19.09% 19.18%
2012 20.65% 19.16% 19.39%
2011 20.70% 19.29% 19.73%
2010 20.50% 19.29% 19.74%
2009 20.12% 18.99% 19.36%
2008 19.00% 17.44% 17.57%
2007 18.66% 17.09% 16.95%
2006 18.90% 17.17% 17.08%
2005 18.89% 17.07% 16.92%

Renter Fraction in Detroit Michigan

You can calculate the renter fraction in Detroit in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Detroit as a fraction of total Detroit households. In 2015 31.96% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Detroit Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Michigan 29.58% -0.18% +0.64%
Detroit, MI 31.96% -0.02% +1.01%

Trends in the Detroit, MI Renter Fraction

The Detroit household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 31.98% and is now 0.02% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Detroit MI, Michigan, US

Fraction of renters in Detroit

History of Detroit Renter Fraction

Date US Michigan Detroit, MI
2015 36.97% 29.58% 31.96%
2014 36.90% 29.76% 31.98%
2013 36.50% 29.45% 31.41%
2012 36.09% 28.94% 30.95%
2011 35.42% 28.26% 29.92%
2010 34.65% 27.25% 28.82%
2009 34.13% 26.81% 27.96%
2008 33.36% 26.02% 26.92%
2007 32.80% 25.17% 25.68%
2006 32.73% 24.83% 25.37%
2005 33.10% 25.33% 26.42%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.