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America Is Becoming a Renter’s Nation

Digested from “In one chart, a reminder of the surging demand for renting” in MarketWatch (6/22/2016) by Riquier, Andrea

More Americans are choosing to rent rather than buy homes, according to the annual “State of the Nation’s Housing” report, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

The study shows that the number of renter households increased by 9 million from 2005 to 2015 to hit a high-water mark of 110 million. “The rental market continues to drive the housing recovery, with over 36 percent of US households opting to rent in 2015—the largest share since the late 1960s,” according to the study.

What’s causing this accelerating share of renters? Rental demand is up across almost all demographic and income groups, but older adults who opt to rent account for a large part of this shift.

The increase in demand has pushed up prices, which are increasing at 3.7 percent annually. The national rental vacancy rate fell to 7.1 percent in 2015, a 30-year low.

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