Professor Barrington (Barry) Branch, Ledbetter Professor of the Practice at Scheller College of Business was a featured author in the article “National Rent Report for January 2020 Shows Growing Number of Renters” in the online magazine RENTCafe.
Branch discusses national trends that are leading more young people to rent rather than purchase a single-family home. “Young professionals are increasingly attracted to multifamily projects near their jobs. These buildings are attractive if they offer cutting edge technology that enables residents to work from home; attractive amenities that provide a healthy lifestyle and greater interaction with others; proximity to a variety of retail, food and entertainment attractions as well as public greenspaces; a significant reduction in their reliance on automobiles and access to public transportation; and greater flexibility to adjust to job changes and changes in their personal circumstances,” he said.
He acknowledges the stable economy but notes that increased uncertainty in national, political, and economic environments may lead many people to resist the commitment to purchase a home. However, Branch points to the possibility that a larger demand for rental units may provide less inventory and therefore, an increase in rent prices. He states that “an offsetting factor among renters is the current trend towards rapidly increasing rental rates in many markets, which threatens their ability to manage their cost of living.” To offset these adverse factors, he cites low-interest rates that will incentivize developers to build more units and government programs for creating affordable housing as just a few factors that will continue to keep the rental market thriving.