If you cannot get out of your house, it makes it pretty hard to relocate for work. As a result, homeowners who are underwater on their homes are finding their options may be limited when it comes to looking for jobs. In the past, “mobility has been the hallmark of the U.S. work force,” says CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming, noting that now many job hunters are finding their options “frozen” because their homes are so underwater that they are unable to sell. Many are opting to try to rent out their homes to keep cash flow coming in to pay the mortgage while they move elsewhere.
According to recently-released Census data, since 2006 the number of renting households has grown by about 700,000 a year while households that own have fallen by about 200,000 a year. While many realtors, not surprisingly, are calling renting a “Band-Aid” rather than a real solution, other analysts argue that the fact that Americans are electing to rent is a good sign that people are being more careful with their money and that it is unlikely that another housing crisis could follow on the heels of the first.
Do you think that for real estate investors the trend toward renting is a positive one?
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