The real estate company and website Trulia recently released the report From Own to Rent: Who Lost the American Dream?
It covers the ongoing growth in the percentage of Americans who rent instead of owning their home.
The key finding, which is shown in the report chart below, is the share of U.S. households that rent increased from 36.1 percent in 2006 to 41.1 percent in 2014.
The increase in renting was most pronounced among millennials.
The share of renters between the ages of 18 and 34 increased from 62.5 percent in 2006 to 71.6 percent in 2014. This was in large part due to older millennials. Key quote from the report:
The younger 18-25 year-old group only saw a 5.9 percentage point jump in renting from 2006 to 2014, while the older 26-34 year-old group saw a surprising 10.9 percentage point jump. Traditionally, young adults have become first-time homebuyers as they grow older and have advancing in their careers and incomes. This suggests that the fundamental shifts in the economy (job loss, low-income growth, diminishing affordability of homes) may have caused the increase in renting for those in the 18-34 year-old group.
But renting is becoming more common in general. As the charts below show, renting has increased across all income and ethnic groups.
The rise in renting is part of the broader shift away from ownership in general.
Don't get me wrong, we're still going to own a lot stuff.
But economic uncertainty and volatility is leading to businesses and consumers to become more agile and flexible. This is leading to a shift away from fixed costs and fixed assets.
The increase in renting is just one example of this trend playing out.
See our Economic Uncertainty section for more on this shift.