Understanding The Ring-Around-The-Rosy Rental Inflation Game

Apartment Buildings along the East River in New York, US, on Sunday, May 28, 2023. Rental prices are … [+] growing at nearly twice the rate of entry-level salaries, so young newcomers are doing “whatever it takes” to live the lifestyles they’ve always aspired to. Photographer: Allison Hess/Bloomberg© 2023 Bloomberg Finance LPOffer a definitive explanation of the Ring Around the Rosie nursery rhyme and children’s game — whether as a reference to the Black Plague or teenagers ignoring bans against dancing — and if you’re within earshot of a competent folklorist, chances are you’ll get an erudite slap-down. No one knows for certain how it came about. (For example, the British version lagged the bubonic plague by some 700 years, according to the site HowStuffWorks.)

So, it seems only fair to add a more contemporary meaning: the vicious circle that comprises the apartment rental market in the U.S. A cycle of rationalized cheap money from the Federal Reserve, a flood of investment in real estate like apartment buildings, and then hiked rents have reinforced one another, ultimately setting …

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