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Renter Nation - 4/8/16

Over the past several years, America has become more of a renter nation.  A decade ago, many people were racing to buy homes – sometimes more than one.  But the Great Recession and plunging home prices changed much of that, forcing some people into apartments and creating an aversion to homeownership among many. 

Many of these new renters located to urban as opposed to suburban communities.  Economists, real estate agents and others have debated whether the shift away from homes in the suburbs is temporary or permanent.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, recently released Census data provide strong support for the notion that the broad-based shift toward city rentals was largely temporary. 

The rate at which Americans are moving to suburbs is again outpacing the rate at which they move to urban centers.  Urban counties across the U.S. saw their collective population grow by 0.8% last year to approximately 77 million people.  The population of suburban counties expanded by nearly one percent to 159 million people.  The data indicate that those flocking to cities remain a select class largely comprised of the young, educated and affluent.    

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.