Rental demand remains high, despite prediction of rising lease rates

A considerable number of Americans believe rental rates will jump nationwide during the course of the next year, a survey by Fannie Mae indicates. However, many of these residents stated they continually prefer to lease, rather than buy, homes.

According to the National Housing Survey for March, one-third of Americans polled said they expect home prices and rents to rise markedly during the next 12 months. The average rental rate hike was found to be 4.1 percent.

Though roughly two-thirds of those surveyed said they would buy their next home rather than lease, the survey indicates 30 percent of respondents would rent – one percentage point higher than in February.

This figure for rental preference grew despite nearly half of those polled stating they believed rental rates would increase during the following year.

“Americans’ rental price expectations for the next year continue to rise, reaching their record high level for our survey this month,” said Fannie Mae vice president and chief economist Doug Duncan from Washington D.C..

The number of property owners who employ rental managers may rise, as a number of small-time investors are snatching up low-priced properties and converting them to rental units to take advantage of the still-high demand.