In 2004 the rate of home ownership hit it’s all-time high, with 69.4% of households owning a home. This year that number has fallen to a 13-year low of 66%. This dramatic decline reflects a transition in the American Dream from owning a home with a white-picket fence to the flexibility of renting.
And companies are taking note of this change. Publicly-traded AvalonBay Communities has $1 billion in development projects underway to meet the growing demand for apartments. AvalonBay’s investment is grounded in a market where vacancy rates have fallen and landlords have been able to raise rents for the past seven quarters.
Seattle is experiencing this national trend on a local level, with Marcus & Millichap predicting that effective rents will rise 4.4% over last year. The lull in construction projects the last couple of years means that fewer projects are finishing this year, so there are fewer vacancies to match the increasing demand for rental units.
- Renting the American Dream (Barron’s)
- Construction Rises in Apartment Boom (finance.yahoo.com)
- Home Ownership: Still the American Dream? (dailyfinance.com)
- As fewer buy homes, apartment construction surges (seattletimes.nwsource.com)