Experts: Rentals to Become Less and Less Affordable Over Next Two Years

The cost of rent continues to increase nationally, and according to a panel of 100 housing experts, most think that rentals will become less and less affordable for at least the next two years.

Combined with higher home values, which are expected to grow by 4.4 percent in 2015, this could make it more difficult for current tenants to save for homes of their own.

But an economist with Zillow, which sponsored the study, warned against government intervention.

“Solving the rental affordability crisis in this country will require a lot of innovative thinking and hard work, and that has to start at the local level, not the federal level,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “Housing markets in general and rental dynamics in particular are uniquely local and demand local, market-driven policies.

“Uncle Sam can certainly do a lot, but I worry we’ve become too accustomed to automatically seeking federal assistance for housing issues big and small, instead of trusting markets to correct themselves and without waiting to see the impact of decisions made at a local level. Broader federal efforts aimed at increasing real wages and job opportunities will go a long way toward helping renters, but real, lasting solutions to rising rents need to be found locally.”

According to Zillow, the median U.S. home value should grow to $187,040 this year and should be higher than $196,400, the pre-recession peak, by May 2017.

Article compliments of Community Investor Magazine