How many friends do you have that own a home? Chances are, not too many. Homeownership has dropped dramatically since 2005, and the rate is currently at the same level seen in 1995. According to a real estate analysis by the U.S. Commerce Department, 65 percent of Americans owned homes in the first quarter of 2013, which is even fewer than the fourth quarter of 2012, when the rate was 65.4 percent. Now it makes sense why it’s so hard to find the perfect rental space in your city.
The people you know with their own home are likely older, as 80.4 percent of Americans that are 65 or older are homeowners. Comparatively, a mere 36.8 percent of Americans younger than 35 have purchased property. If you live in the Midwest, you may have an easier time finding the perfect rental unit because residents here are most likely to own a home–about 70 percent of them do. Westerners will have the most difficult time because 40.6 percent of locals aren’t homeowners.
Plus, who wants to spend years looking for their perfect home? The housing market is constantly and rapidly changing, and for many, the search has become a full-time job. Investors across the country are taking the opportunity to snatch up properties to flip and turn into rental units. Not many people can compete with someone who shows up with cash in hand.
With investors taking over the housing market, young families are forced to make the decision between renting or buying a sub-par home, which isn’t a good idea since a home is a long-term investment. For now, the rental market is going to be a bit tight, but many are hopeful it will turnaround within the year.