Since the housing market collapse, a number of households have been forced to put homeownership on hold as they wait for conditions to improve. As a result, there was a surge of activity in the rental sector as investors capitalized on the rising demand.
Real estate data indicates that currently, Boston Capital owns 157,423 rental units, which is the most in the country, according to a report from the National Multi Housing Council. In addition, another significant player in Greystar Real Estate, which manages 192,711 units.
"The industry continued its robust recovery in 2011 as more households decided that renting was a better fit for their lifestyles, needs and budgets than owning," said NMHC chief economist Mark Obrinsky. "The boom in rental living combined with the near-bust in supply over the prior three years led to strong rent growth for the industry."
However, the increased activity in the rental sector is a double-edged sword. The Wall Street Journal reports that average apartment rent prices rose 2.7 percent last year. As a result of the significant gain, it is now more affordable to purchase property than rent in a number of major housing markets.