A recent article in USA Today points out that "Since the real estate bubble burst, the American dream of home ownership has fizzled"
In that article it is reported that more and more people are renting rather than buying a home and that this "New Class of Renters" is doing so by choice.
A recent survey discovered that 72 percent of people said they feel that home ownership is part of their American dream, down from 77 percent in January of this year according to a survey by Trulia.com. Despite the fact that interest rates are at historical lows and home prices are down considerably in many cities, people are wary of further price declines. A slow economy as well as the "hidden costs" of home ownership including repairs and decorating also factors in. Its just easier to pay your rent and let someone else take care of the repairs.
Also, it points out that in the past most renting options were more limited to apartment communities. However, more single family homes are now available due to difficulties in selling homes. This brings the affordability down in many areas. Credit score remains a challenge since securing a mortgage is more difficult than ever, and we are seeing far fewer people with good credit applying for rentals.
All this is good for the Landlord, and as the sales market slowly shows signs of recovery, rents will eventually go up. In fact we have already seen this occurring in our office. For the first time in 3 years, we are once again building rent increases into our lease renewals.