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Welcome to the Land of the Renter

October 20th, 2017 12:44 PM by Mike Frangadakis

There has been a massive trend towards renting.  The vast majority of household growth since the housing bubble imploded has been with rental households.  I know this is hard to believe for Taco Tuesday baby boomers but this is simply the new reality.  And all of those investors that bought up single family homes for rentals are living it up.  There are now a few major changes impacting the housing market – many more single family homes are rentals and many more renters are staying put.  In other words, many are not looking to buy and builders realize this.  There is now a large category of permanent renters since many people live and work in more expensive metro markets.  Short of forking out an insane amount of money to live in say San Francisco, people are opting to rent.  The proof is in the numbers.

More renters are not moving

Many households used renting as a bridge before venturing out and buying a home.  But more people are renting and staying put:

Across all age groups, people are staying put longer in their rentals.  And this is being pushed by investors renting out single family homes:

Look at the chart above.  This is an anomaly in terms of how many single family homes are out in the market as rentals.  In terms of how many SFRs are rented as a percentage of the entire SFR pool, this is an increase of 50% from the 1980s.

You have many young adults that simply cannot move out on their own even for a rental:

And if you are looking to buy in today’s house humping market be prepared to pay a premium because inventory is pathetic:

Which leads us to a generational low homeownership rate:

So what you have is a rental market that now has many more single family homes as rentals and many more renters are viewing these places as permanent versus transitory apartments.  The fact that many more renters are staying put reflects this change.  And why would a landlord argue with this?  It is great to have long-term tenants.  And for many, this meets their needs instead of buying an overpriced shack.

Inventory remains pathetically low and younger American adults in large numbers are simply staying put and living at home with mom and dad.  This is not a typical housing recovery.  This is a distorted market and this is the outcome of mapped out bailouts with the banks, hedge funds buying up single family homes, and builders becoming reluctant to build.

People try to paint this recovery as a broad one but what this is highlighting is that this “recovery” is essentially jamming 100 hungry people into a restaurant and saying that the first 20 people that get to the counter will get a cold taco.  Everything is relative and right now, that dump of a home with crappy construction and toxic mold is looking appealing at $1 million.


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Posted by Mike Frangadakis on October 20th, 2017 12:44 PM

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