The landscape of American subdivision and neighborhood demographics could be changing for many. In urban and suburban areas all around the country, there has been a predominance of home owners, with a rental home mixed in every now and then for many years. The programs and policies that encouraged and rewarded home ownership have created many more buyers in these neighborhoods than renters. This has been the case even in areas where people wanted to rent, as there just weren't homes available to do so.
The last few years have changed the perceptions of many people about owning a home. This is especially true of those who would have been "first time buyers" in current and near future markets. They have family members and friends who have lost homes, and others who are paying their mortgage, but are upside-down, owing more than their homes are currently worth. This group is telling pollsters that they don't see home ownership as the nest egg and security vehicle they did just five years ago.
This is a very large group of potential home buyers who are saying that they will be renting for years into the future, with no plans to buy a home. However, they will want the same conveniences, features and location amenities that home buyers have. So, they will want to be in these neighborhoods that previously had few homes available for rent. And, they can move in there. With foreclosures still steady, there are homes available everywhere, and investors are moving in to scoop them up for long term rental income. Some market watchers and investor gurus are saying that they will be buyers later, perhaps sooner than they anticipate. And, they'll be open to buying the home they're renting. So, the pendulum swings.