Nov 2011 23

U.S. Rentals on the Rise

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Front of House by A rancid amoeba
Front of House by Chanel Wheeler

An October 2011 economic outlook report by Freddie Mac reveals an increasing trend in choosing rental housing over homeownership, hinting at positive economic developments in the multifamily sector in the U.S. market.

According to data provided by the Census Bureau in June 2011, there was a net increase of 1.4 million families that made a decision to move into rental housing. The figures come as a slight surprise since the market boasts probably the highest affordability in decades. Overall, the number of home owners in the U.S. declined by 1.5 per cent over the last year, and the number of tenant households increased by 4 per cent.

“Apartments, which are considered part of the commercial real estate sector, are well ahead of retail, office properties and industrial properties in the recovery because of the release of pent up demand,” said Hessam Nadij, managing director of research and advisory services for Marcus & Millichap, for HousingWire magazine.

Under-30-year-olds are leading the list of the rental seekers, as they take their time before making the final decision for the purchase or mortgage. The percentage of home owners under 25 years of age decreased about 4.4 per cent to 21.9 per cent, and the ownership rate of people aged 25 to 29 years fell 7 per cent to 34.7 per cent.

Everything seems to point to a fact that Americans expect home prices to continue to decline. Freddie Mac experts see the cause of the situation in easily accessible financing for rental housing, low mortgage rates, and thriving apartment-sector economics together with the comeback of traditional lending that was put on hold during the crisis.

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