Freddie Mac: Demand surges for rental housing

Freddie Mac released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for October. It shows rental demand rising and calls the multifamily sector “a strong positive signal for the U.S. housing industry.”

Outlook highlights
• Over the year ending mid-2011, the Census Bureau reported a net increase of 1.4 million households that moved into rental housing – a 4 percent rise in the number of tenant households in just one year.
• The U.S. homeownership rate fell about 1.5 percent over the past year (from 66.9 percent to 65.9 percent); homeownership rates fell about 4.4 percent for those under 25 years of age, and by 7 percent for those aged 25 to 29 years.
• Apartment rents, which had been flat to falling in many projects during the 2008-2009 recession, have started to rise, albeit slowly.
• New construction starts of apartments in buildings with at least 20 dwellings has picked up this year; in the second quarter, it reached its highest point since the end of 2008.
• Low Treasury yields suggest that mortgage rates fell to new lows for multifamily lending in recent weeks.

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