Apartment for rent

Thanks to higher rents throughout much of the year, U.S. renters paid out more in rent than they ever have before, with a total rent payout equal to the gross domestic product of Belgium.

According to a new report from HotPads, U.S. renters paid a record $504.4 billion in rent in 2018, topping 2017’s total by $12.6 billion.

That increase is in spite of the fact that there were fewer rental households this year than last year.

According to the report, there were approximately 43.2 million renter households in the U.S. this year, nearly 100,000 less than there were in 2017.

But despite that decrease, renters still paid out a record high total in rent in 2018, more than the entire GDP of Belgium ($494.7 billion), as rents rose throughout the year.

According to the HotPads report, the current median rent is $1,475, up 3% from a year ago. HotPads data showed that rents rose about 3% year-over-year throughout the year, continuing a gradual slowdown in rent appreciation that began in mid-2016.

In fact, the total rent increased year-over-year in nearly every major market…