About a fifth of all single-family homes were rentals last year in 32 of the nation’s top metropolitan regions–and nationwide, 18% of occupied single-family homes last year were rented, which is up from less than 15% in 2006.
The growth reflects changes that were brought by the housing industry, as well as financial hardships imposed by the recession. With rental vacancies near record lows and home purchasing on a decline, some homeowners are choosing to transform their homes into rentals rather than trying to sell.
This idea comes with great appeal because many foreclosed homeowners were forced into renting and still prefer to live in a single-family home. Additionally, younger Americans are delaying homeownership more than previous generations and choosing to rent. It’s likely that as Millennials begin to marry and start their families, their aversion to homeownership will continue to increase the demand for single family rentals.