U.S. Census: More Renters, Less Home Buyers

Jean Closson says she understands why people want to rent the houses in her Camp Hill neighborhood.

“It gives people an opportunity to get into a house, maybe they couldn’t get there, .and they go on from there, maybe get something bigger and better,” she said.

But Clossen says more renting could mean more changes for where she lives.

“We walk the neighborhood a lot in the evenings and you notice homes that are maybe in disrepair, not like they used to be, the owners used to keep them up, so sometimes maybe we can tell that’s a rental unit,” she said. “People who own their homes seem to take better care of them.”

The U.S. Census Report says more demand could also mean higher rent in the future. Midstate realtors say that’s not an immediate concern here, but renters do tend to pay higher above-market prices than buyers.

“When someone is making a rental decision, if they have the right thing they may potentially pay more than what the market rent would be because they’re in the right situation, or a time crunch, or they just don’t know the market,” Century 21 realtor Aaron Piscioneri said.

So why all the renters? Short answer: millenials. More mobile jobs and later-in-life marriages mean fewer people settling down and buying for now.

“There have been reports that say they’re going to be a huge block of people buying houses in the next few years, so we could see a strong increase in home ownership rates, specifically in that demographic group,” Piscioneri said.

Surveys from the National Association of Realtors say 89 percent of U.S. adults believe owning a home is a big part of the American dream.

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