Question:  Allison, we are considering purchasing another condo in the complex where we already own as a long-term rental property.  I’d love to get your perspective. 

Answer:  I think it’s a fantastic idea!  Prices are low and while rents haven’t skyrocketed, they are staying up and we’ll see more renters in Summit County.  According to Brian Davis and Inman News, home prices and sales may be flat, but the rental industry is booming. The percentage of renters is on the rise, the number of households is increasing, and more Americans are downsizing, all of which point in a single direction: rents are on the rise.

At the peak of the housing boom, homeownership in America reached an all-time high at 69.2 percent. Today that number has dropped to fewer than 67 percent, which may not sound like a huge drop, but that represents roughly 3 million households that were owner-occupied and are now tenant-occupied.

The high foreclosure rate has accelerated the transition toward leasing, but there are a myriad of other trends coalescing to boost demand for rental housing.

For the first time in 40 years, demand has been shifting toward smaller dwellings, coinciding with a shift in demand toward urban centers. Baby boomers are considering downsizing, moving toward areas with more amenities, and members of Generation Y are just hitting their single, urban-living years.

Only the relatively small Generation X is in the buy-a-large-house-in-suburbs category, which means the demand for the traditional single-family home with a white picket fence is weak.

The number of households in the U.S. was artificially stifled during the "Great Recession," as people took on roommates, moved in with family, or remained with their parents longer than they would have otherwise.

Rental vacancy rates are sharply on the decline as well. In the first quarter of 2011, rental vacancy rates had dropped to 6.2 percent, according to Reis Inc., which tracks nationwide residency data. This figure is down sharply from the 8 percent vacancy rate just one year earlier.

Each of these indicators are entire topics in themselves, but the bottom line is that the rental industry is on the rise, and some real estate experts believe that its growth will accelerate rapidly over the next three to five years.

 

For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com