Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a rented apartment.
That may be the mantra of U.S. households for the next three years, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Demand Institute division of the U.S. Conference Board. Most Americans still hope to own a home, the study found — but that home will be smaller than the MacMansions of the housing boom.
Housing and the related mortgage industry helped to tip the U.S. into the Great Recession. Data suggest the sector is bottoming out, but its recovery will be unlike that of past business cycles, according to the Demand Institute’s report, entitled “The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand.” (See the most recent data on home prices by city here.)
The first stage of this recovery will be led by rental properties. Past homeowners who lost their houses to foreclosure, young adults who are now living at home or who haven’t saved a down payment, and new immigrants will drive the demand to lease rather than to buy.