Department of Numbers

Milwaukee Wisconsin Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Milwaukee, WI (the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metro area) was $848 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Milwaukee was $885 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 Milwaukee median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Milwaukee Wisconsin (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Wisconsin Median Gross Rent $792 +1.80% +6.31%
Milwaukee, WI Median Gross Rent $848 +1.92% +7.21%

Milwaukee, WI Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Milwaukee peaked in real terms in 2008 at $851 and is now $3 (0.35%) lower. From a recent low of 791.0 in 2012, real median gross rent has now increased by $57 (7.21%). At $885, real average gross rent in Milwaukee was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Milwaukee: Milwaukee WI Median, Milwaukee WI Average, Wisconsin Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Milwaukee

Date US
Median
Wisconsin
Median
Milwaukee, WI
Median
Milwaukee, WI
Average
2015 $959 $792 $848 $885
2014 $930 $778 $832 $867
2013 $898 $752 $801 $828
2012 $886 $745 $791 $823
2011 $887 $752 $799 $829
2010 $901 $753 $805 $843
2009 $905 $761 $823 $844
2008 $920 $786 $851 $872
2007 $874 $745 $802 $828
2006 $883 $762 $832 $840
2005 $858 $758 $808 $828

Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee Wisconsin was 4.00% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Milwaukee Wisconsin

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Wisconsin 4.67% +0.03% -0.81%
Milwaukee, WI 4.00% +0.34% -0.22%

Trends in Milwaukee, WI Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Milwaukee peaked in 2006 at 6.90%. Since then it has fallen by 2.90% to 4.00%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2011 post peak low of 3.45%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.55%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Milwaukee WI, Wisconsin, US

Rental vacancy rate in Wisconsin

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Milwaukee

Date US Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI
2015 5.85% 4.67% 4.00%
2014 6.32% 4.64% 3.66%
2013 6.49% 5.22% 4.23%
2012 6.77% 5.48% 4.22%
2011 7.40% 5.17% 3.45%
2010 8.17% 6.16% 4.67%
2009 8.43% 5.86% 4.28%
2008 7.86% 6.26% 3.71%
2007 7.87% 6.83% 6.42%
2006 7.70% 7.18% 6.90%
2005 7.74% 6.49% 5.47%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Milwaukee, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Milwaukee, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 18.09% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Wisconsin 17.08% -0.75% -0.38%
Milwaukee, WI 18.09% -0.78% +0.09%

Trends in Milwaukee, WI Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Milwaukee household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 18.87%. Since then it has fallen by 0.78% to 18.09%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Milwaukee WI, Wisconsin, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Date US Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI
2015 20.63% 17.08% 18.09%
2014 20.89% 17.83% 18.87%
2013 20.78% 17.67% 18.64%
2012 20.65% 17.46% 18.00%
2011 20.70% 17.60% 18.59%
2010 20.50% 17.51% 18.42%
2009 20.12% 16.99% 17.67%
2008 19.00% 16.22% 16.81%
2007 18.66% 15.97% 16.71%
2006 18.90% 16.19% 17.16%
2005 18.89% 16.38% 17.35%

Renter Fraction in Milwaukee Wisconsin

You can calculate the renter fraction in Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee as a fraction of total Milwaukee households. In 2015 41.14% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Milwaukee Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Wisconsin 33.21% -0.19% +0.50%
Milwaukee, WI 41.14% +0.72% +1.07%

Trends in the Milwaukee, WI Renter Fraction

At 41.14%, the 2015 household based renter fraction in Milwaukee was at its highest level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Milwaukee WI, Wisconsin, US

Fraction of renters in Milwaukee

History of Milwaukee Renter Fraction

Date US Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI
2015 36.97% 33.21% 41.14%
2014 36.90% 33.40% 40.42%
2013 36.50% 32.82% 39.47%
2012 36.09% 32.71% 40.07%
2011 35.42% 32.15% 39.56%
2010 34.65% 31.30% 37.79%
2009 34.13% 31.02% 37.65%
2008 33.36% 29.87% 36.19%
2007 32.80% 29.92% 36.14%
2006 32.73% 29.55% 36.10%
2005 33.10% 29.88% 36.04%

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.