Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

April 18, 2008
Sacramento: a better place to rent

Thanks one and all for the e-mails and personal insights about the Sacramento-area rental market in response to a posting about three weeks ago.

The story will run Sunday, but just a few hints ahead of time: Reality kind of surprised us. I expected that 15,000 foreclosures since Jan. 2007 would have to tighten supply and thus push rents up. Instead largely the opposite has proved true. Rents have remained flat and supply remains ample, even expanded.

What gives? The experts told us that investors are buying foreclosure properties and renting them out. And people who can't sell - or refuse to sell at these prices - are renting out their houses. Builders, too, who can't sell condos are putting whole complexes on the market as rentals.

Others weighed in, saying people are leaving the area after losing their homes. A tight economy has more renters moving back in with mom and dad and some of those foreclosed households have actually bought a much cheaper house just before walking away from the one they bought in 2005.

All across California and the West rent is going up. But for the most part depending on the neighborhood and the type of rental that is not the case here. The Sunday story will explain it all. Thanks all, for the help.

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