A Brief Look At U.S. Rental Housing Statistics

As a landlord, you can use statistics to help you anticipate who your next tenant is likely to be or what might be their needs. Key pieces of information and statistics can help you tailor your property and marketing strategy. You can even gather information in advance of your next property purchase to help you determine what type of property you should buy and where it should be located. Using this statistical information can help you avoid one of the chief downsides of owning income property—vacancies.

1. TOTAL U.S. HOUSEHOLDS: RENTAL vs. OWNER-OCCUPIED
Only 35% of U.S. households are renter occupied while 65% of households are owner occupied. So how does this statistic help you? Well, let’s start with an awareness that only about a third of all households will be in need of the product you are providing—rental housing. Additionally, if you are willing to research local statistics you may be able to pinpoint specific areas with rental shortages or surpluses and apply this knowledge to your rental property business.

2. WHAT TYPE OF STRUCTURE ARE RENTER HOUSEHOLDS?
What type of rental structure do you own (or want to buy) and where does it fit in the U.S. rental housing market? Current statistics tell us the following about renter households and structure type:
• Single family structures – 35% of rental housing structures;
• 2 to 4 unit structures – 18% of rental housing structures; and
• 5 or more units – 43% of rental housing structures

3. WHAT IS THE AGE OF THE RENTAL HOUSING POPULATION?
Twenty-six percent of the U.S. population lives in rental housing and are 44 years of age or under. Eight percent of the U.S. population lives in rental housing and are 45 years of age or over. A look at similar statistics for your local housing market may give you some guidance as to the needs (ex. shopping, community services, or entertainment) of your prospective tenants.
Keep in mind that this blog post looks at national statistics and these numbers may not necessarily apply to your local market. However, a little effort and research on your part will help you uncover your market specific numbers and unlock valuable knowledge that will help make your rental business a success.

STATISTICAL SOURCE: National Multifamily Housing Council (http://www.nmhc.org)

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