from the NYT:
No Picket Fence: Younger Adults Opting to Rent
. . . as the economy slowly improves and job growth picks up steam, the millions of 20- and 30-somethings who shared living quarters with friends or nestled in their parents’ basements to ride out the economic shock waves from the Great Recession are beginning to branch out on their own. But they are still largely shut out of the mortgage market.
“A lot of people 10 to 15 years ago who were able or willing to get a mortgage, now they can’t,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics. “They’re caught in an awful Catch-22 trying to get a down payment” now that they’re spending on rent.
While construction of single-family homes is only halfway back to its prerecession levels, construction of multifamily units — which include both condos and rentals — is at its highest level in 25 years. Apartment construction is exceeding its prerecession peaks in some markets, including Austin, Tex.; the Washington metropolitan area; and San Jose, Calif., according to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard.