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After the housing downturn that deflated real estate prices from Florida to California, more communities are seeing a rise in rentals of single-family homes. Events that included a sharp rise in foreclosure proceedings resulted in at least 20 percent of occupied single-family dwellings in 32 of the country’s top metropolitan markets being inhabited by renters in 2012, according to the results of a recent study. The analysis of data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that in 2006 this was the case in only seven of the biggest metropolitan areas.

Changes brought on by the boom and bust of the housing bubble were reflected in the growth of single-family home rentals. Many people who would have bought their first homes put off home ownership, and millions of owners lost their their homes to foreclosure and had to become renters. Areas showing the highest percentage of rentals include those where foreclosures were more prevalent. In Las Vegas, Nevada, almost 29 percent of occupied homes were rentals, which was more than 10 percent higher than in 2006. The Cape Coral area of Florida also saw rentals jump to more than 25 percent of all occupied homes.

Other cities less impacted by foreclosures also saw higher growth in rental homes than the national average. Some economists feel that homeowners in these areas may be renting their houses to meet the substantial increase in demand.

A homeowner who has been threatened with foreclosure may wish to speak with an attorney who has experience in bankruptcy law. The attorney may be able to suggest ways to stop a foreclosure, including a bankruptcy filing or other method of debt relief.

Source: USA Today, “In more homes, the roof overhead is rented“, Julie Schmit and Barbara Hansen, October 20, 2013