New preferences, low affordability of new homes drive greater demand for apartment rentals.
Apartment rentals have been luring residents away from other kinds of housing since the housing crash—and that is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.
“Apartments should continue to play a role in the total housing market that goes beyond the historical norm,” says Greg Willett, chief economist for Real Page Inc., a property management software and services provider based in Richardson, Texas.
In the years after the Great Recession, millions of people lost homes to foreclosure and had to move, often into apartments. The extra demand for units was not expected to last more than a few years. However, today—more than a decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers—the percentage of American households that own their own home is still near its low point. New households are still much more likely to chose to live in rental housing than in the years before the crash.