In the Home-Buying Frenzy, Renters Could Reap Bargains
The long-term trend toward ownership is making the bubble look fairly solid.
April 19, 2006
by John C. Weicher
Washington - Almost since the turn of the millennium, the "housing bubble" has been front page news and editorial page speculation. But that's only half the housing story. What has been happening in the rental housing market is unprecedented; also, it is important for understanding what has really been happening to home prices and home sales.
The rental market is the other side of the boom - the dark side, for rental property owners, the bright side for families looking for a bargain. For the first time in US history, the absolute number of renters has been falling. There are fewer now than there were 10 years ago. The number of renters peaked at 35.7 million families in early 1995. By mid-2004, it was down to 32.6 million. There has been a modest increase since then, to 33.7 million; at that rate, the 1995 peak will not be reached again until the end of the decade. At the same time, the number of owners has increased by more than 11 million, from 64 million in early 1995 to 75 million today. It will be close to 80 million by 2010...To read the rest of this article, please visit http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0418/p09s02-coop.html.
Senior Fellow John C. Weicher is Director of the Center for Housing and Financial Markets at Hudson Institute. From 2001-2005 he was Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.