Now is a good time for investors to make acquisitions in the rental housing market, according to one executive.

W. Henry Dean of KBS Legacy Partners Apartment REIT recently told Multi-Housing News in an interview that the balance of supply and demand make it a good time for purchasing properties.

The renter demographic of Americans between 18 and 35 years old is sizable and expected to remain stable, said Dean. Homeownership is down as many former owner-occupants are renting again and single-family rentals are much more common than was typical in the past.

Homeownership began growing significantly in the 1990s, and some analysts expect its decline to be a long-term trend that lasts. Many immigrants also prefer to rent, and immigration continues to contribute steadily to population growth, he noted. Rental managers and owners have been increasing rents as the rental housing sector tries to cope with years of slow construction and limited inventory just when demand has spiked.

Many markets are finding rental housing is in short supply. The availability of distressed properties and the low price of single-family homes has created an unforeseen opportunity for investors.