St. Louis Area Renter Occupied Housing On the Rise While Owner Occupied Housing Declines

st-louis-real-estate-realtor-dennis-normanThe St. Louis area has seen a fairly dramatic change in the make-up of the housing occupants with a shift from home-owners to renters over the past six years.  After the crash of the real estate market we have experienced, as well as massive unemployment and a weak economy, this is not surprising, but is something that I think needs to be recognized.  The five-county St Louis core market (St Louis County, St. Louis City, St Charles County, Jefferson County and Franklin County) as a whole saw owner-occupied units drop almost 3.5 percent during the period while, at the same time, renter-occupied units increased almost 15 percent resulting in renter’s making up almost 31 percent of all the occupied housing units in 2011, up 13.14 percent from 2005 when they accounted for 27.29 percent.

As we drill-down to the county level, we can see that the results vary fairly significantly by county.  For example, Jefferson County saw the largest increase in renter-occupied housing units with a 35.38 percent increase during the six-year period, while Franklin County had a decrease of almost 9 percent in renter occupied units during the period. 

In which St Louis county do renters make up the largest percentage of the occupied housing units in that county?  The city of St. Louis is clearly the leader here with 55.5 percent of it’s occupied housing being occupied by renters.

So, is having an increase in renter occupied property bad?  Well, I don’t have the space available to fully address all the opinions on this topic, and there are many, but, in a nutshell, I would humbly offer my opinion which is, what is bad the fact that, for the most part, this change has not come about by choice of the consumer, but instead by necessity.  Many former homeowners have been forced to become tenants after losing their home to foreclosure or being forced into a short sale.  Many sellers (and builders) have become forced to become landlords as a result of either not being able to sell their homes, or not being able to afford to accept the price they would bring in the current market.



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