It’s hard to look at the rental market, as a whole, without taking into consideration home ownership. In the US, a country of nearly 320 million, there are currently around 43 million renter households and roughly 67 million home ownership households. It’s no secret that as home ownership increases, renter households decrease overall. There is a constant ebb and flow between these markets as past renters purchase a home for the first time, and increasingly so, home owners leave to join the renter pool. The latter happens for a number of reasons, but generally less so. Typically, increases in the rental market are seen as a result of tenants remaining renters and not purchasing a home of their own.
So, taking a historical look at home ownership rates, we can get some insights into how the US became a nation of renters. PMGuardian put together a great infographic illustrating the history of home ownership. Just click to download a full-sized copy.