Decline in Homeownership Rate Will Boost Rental Demand: Middleburg Research

Middleburg Communities has published its latest research exploring trends in rental housing. Economic shocks engender changes in consumer behavior – and the larger the shock, the more meaningful and lasting the changes one can expect. As we navigate one of the most severe economic shocks in modern history, Patrick Lynch, VP of Research at Middleburg Communities, has methodically analyzed past and present housing data to produce a picture of what the future holds for the rental housing universe.

In this report, Patrick tackles a broad and complex question: Where does the homeownership rate go from here? After experiencing three consecutive years of resurgent interest in owning a home in the United States, evidence now suggests a possible shift in demand towards renting rather than owning. Our research details the data behind the following summary conclusions:

  • Shifts in the homeownership rate can have large impacts on demand for rental housing.
  • Much of the variation in the homeownership rate that is unexplained by demographic variables can be explained by the changing net worth of American households and lending standards.
  • Steep income declines in 2020 are forecast to lead to a steep drop in the homeownership rate. Thereafter, tightened lending standards and a lingering effect on households’ net worth, especially compared to pre-2007 recession levels, limit a recovery in the homeownership rate.

The full report, “Decline in Homeownership Rate Will Boost Rental Demand” by Patrick Lynch, is available by emailing him at

About Middleburg Communities: Middleburg Communities is a fully integrated multifamily development, investment, construction and management company operating in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. Since 2004, Middleburg has acquired and developed more than 19,000 apartment units, executing approximately $2.5 billion in transactions. The Middleburg team shares a vision for greater value creation through community impact. The firm’s success is rooted in a genuine desire to serve its local communities in thoughtful and holistic ways. Middleburg embraces people, property, and partnerships to enhance the lives of others, contribute positively to its neighborhoods and maximize real returns for partners. For more information, please visit

DISCLAIMER Data presented from any and all sources are cited in the research report(s). Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of the information provided in this publication, the information is provided “AS IS” and Middleburg Communities does not guarantee, warrant, represent, or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate, current, or complete.

This paper makes a number of predictions. These predictions of the future environment for the multifamily industry address matters that are uncertain and may turn out to be materially different than as expressed in this paper. The information provided in this paper is not a substitute for legal and other professional advice. If any reader requires legal advice or other professional assistance, each such reader should consult his or her own legal or other professional advisor and discuss the specific facts and circumstances that apply to the reader. Middleburg Communities is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information contained herein.

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