PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Scared of Renters

The NY Times details how the rise of renting has unsettled many homeowners in once-stable neighborhoods.  The story includes an illustrative video:

Across the country, a growing number of single-family rentals provides an option for many who lost their homes in the housing crash through foreclosure and for those who cannot obtain a mortgage under today’s tougher credit conditions. But the decline in homeownership is also changing many neighborhoods in profound ways, including reduced home values, lower voter turnout and political influence, less social stability and higher crime.

“When there are fewer homeowners, there is less ‘self-help,’ like park and neighborhood cleanup, neighborhood watch,” said William M. Rohe, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has just completed a review of current research on homeownership’s effects. Even conscientious landlords and tenants invest less in their property than owner-occupants, he said. “Who’s going to paint the outside of a rental house? You’d almost have to be crazy.”

Steve Clowney

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