Demand in the rental housing market has spiked and the for-sale housing market has begun its rebound, according to the recently released State of the Nation’s Housing 2012 report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. While the for-sale market could find its bottom in 2012, a variety of demographic and economic factors is expected to further propel the rental market’s growth.
NMHC co-sponsors the annual report, which examines trends in the economics and demographics of housing and is useful to housing providers in identifying trends in housing demand. Key findings for rental providers include:
- Total renter households increased by 1.0 million households in 2011, the highest annual increase since the early 1980s. This continues a trend that began in 2005.
- Married couples accounted for 50% of the renter household growth between 2006 and 2011. This demographic shift in demand for rental units will have implications for rental providers, as they seek new locations to build and develop new product.
- Household formation rates among young adults plummeted during the recession, creating pent-up demand for rental housing. From 2006 to 2011, 4.7 million net new renters were aged 25 to 34 years old, slightly lower than the 5.0 million new renter households added from 2001 to 2006.