June 17, 2014
MSN Real Estate quoted me in ‘Generation Rent’ trend changes the housing game.
Tougher lending requirements, a transient lifestyle and seeing mortgages throw their
parents’ finances in turmoil are causing more millennials to rent instead of buy a
“This attitude shift on homeownership and the rise in demand for rentals is directly influencing the growth of private firms looking to fill out real estate portfolios as well as property management groups that have scooped up business from investors who have no interest in the day-to-day of being a landlord,” said Don Lawby, president of Real Property Management in Utah.
Some 82% of consumers believe owning a home is a critical part of wealth building but 18% said they are not willing to assume the risk of a mortgage, according to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) survey.
“The unwillingness to take on a mortgage loan may be a smart decision for some, as many borrowers have learned the hard way that homeownership does not come with a guarantee of continually increasing equity,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson with the NFCC.
The “Generation Rent” phenomenon is not just about younger Americans. As a societal shift has slowly emerged to redefine the American Dream, many older Americans with empty nests are also exploring apartment living.
“Apartments are a maintenance-free alternative to single-family homes and retirement communities,” said Abe Tekippe, a spokesperson with Waterton Associates, a national apartment investor and operator. “They also allow residents to move closer to shopping, dining and entertainment venues, making them more accessible to aging Baby Boomers.”
For many years, homeownership was a policy objective of the federal government, which symbolized a level of achievement for a person or family but these days many are taking a closer look at whether the costs and benefits of home ownership outperforms the cost of renting.
“People are realizing that coming up with funds and motivation each month for maintenance and up-keep isn’t feasible for economic, medical, lifestyle or other
reasons,” said Dillon Baynes, co-founder and managing partner with Columbia Ventures in Atlanta.
If generation rent continues, a slow down in home sales is bound to have a ripple effect. “If renting remains a popular choice, it will certainly have an impact on the broader economy starting with the home building industry,” said David Reiss, professor with Brooklyn Law School.
“There would be a move away from single-family construction to multi-family.”| Permalink