July 24, 2015
CoreLogic’s July issue of The MarketPulse has in interesting piece by Frank Nothaft, Rental Remains Robust (registration required). It opens,
A vibrant rental market has been an outgrowth of the Great Recession and housing market crash. Apartment vacancy rates are down to their lowest levels since the 1980s, rental apartment construction is the most robust in more than 25 years, rents are up, and apartment building values are at or above their prior peaks. But the rental market is more than just apartments in high-rise buildings.
Apartments in buildings with five or more residences account for 42 percent of the U.S. rental stock. Additionally, two-to-four-family housing units comprise an additional 18 percent of the rental stock, and one-family homes make up the remaining 40 percent.
The foreclosure crisis resulted in a large number of homes being acquired by investors and turned into rentals. Between 2006 and 2013, three million single-family detached houses were added to the nation’s rental stock, an increase of 32 percent. The increase in the single-family rental stock has been geographically broad based, but has impacted some markets more than others.
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While the growth in the rental stock has been large, so has been the demand. Some of the households seeking rental houses were displaced through foreclosure. Others were millennials who had begun or were planning families, but were unable or unwilling to buy. (1-2, footnotes omitted)
Nothaft’s focus is on the investment outlook for rental housing, but I find that his summary has a lot to offer the housing policy world as well. He describes a large change in the balance between the rental and homeowner housing stock, one that has had an outsized effect on certain communities and certain generations.
Housing policy commentators generally feel that the federal government provides way too much support to homeowners (mostly through the tax code) and not enough to renters. Perhaps this demographic shift will spur politicians to rethink that balance. Renters should not be treated like second class citizens.| Permalink