Home prices and sales may be flat, but the rental industry is booming. The percentage of renters is on the rise, the number of households is increasing, and more Americans are downsizing, all of which point in a single direction: rents are on the rise.
At the peak of the housing boom, homeownership in America reached an all-time high at 69.2 percent. Today that number has plummeted to fewer than 67 percent, which may not sound like a huge drop, but that represents roughly 3 million households that were owner-occupied and are now tenant-occupied.
The high foreclosure rate has accelerated the transition toward leasing, but there are a myriad of other trends coalescing to boost demand for rental housing.
For the first time in 40 years, demand has been shifting toward smaller dwellings, coinciding with a shift in demand toward urban centers. Baby boomers are considering downsizing, moving toward areas with more amenities, and members of Generation Y are just hitting their single, urban-living years. more...