Is It Still a Good Time to Be a Landlord?

January 30, 2018

The renter population is outpacing homeowners in many of the nation’s largest cities. The most recent data shows a slowing rental market as homeownership rates continue to gradually recover from the recession.

RentCafe, an apartment and house rental listing company, recently analyzed U.S. Census data to study the change in the number of people living in renter- and owner-occupied housing units over a decade. They compared data from the years 2006 and 2016.

Over the last decade, the U.S. population has grown by 23.7 million people. The number of renters has increased by more than 23 million and homeowners by less than 700,000, according to Census data. The overall renter population has risen by more than a quarter in a decade.

Landlords may particularly be finding a boost in the nation’s largest cities. Rentership growth has outpaced homeownership in 97 of the 100 largest cities, according to RentCafe. The following 10 cities are where the renter ratio has increased the most from 2006 to 2016, according to RentCafe’s analysis.

Despite the large gains, many cities are still a long way from having a renter majority, and homeownership is far from becoming an endangered species, according to the study.

RentCafe reports: “Undoubtedly, the recession had a great impact on homeownership. … However, it looks like it takes more to discourage Americans from buying a house than that. As the years go by, it seems more and more certain that the fact that renting has seen a sudden gain in popularity is more a reaction to the economic crisis than a paradigm shift in the Americans’ attitude toward housing.”

From 2007 to 2015, the renter population has been growing faster than the owner population. However, in 2010, the gap started to show signs of closing. By 2016, the trend started looking more similar to what it did prior to the recession. The number of homeowners has risen by 0.9 percent, while the number of renters has decreased slightly by 0.1 percent on a national level, according to the report.

Source: “Renters Became the Majority Population in 22 Big U.S. Cities,” RentCafe Blog (Jan. 25, 2018)