There’s an unusual phenomenon happening across the real estate industry right now… And all signs are pointing to America becoming a nation of renters.
In this context, I think NOW more than ever is the RIGHT time to learn about apartment real estate investing.
In fact, getting the details now could maximize profit potential in the future.
So if you’re interested…
Then keep reading.
In today’s deep dive, you’re going to discover:
⇒ My personal views on renting… and the SURPRISING ways it’s impacted my life
⇒ Why the American Dream is dead… and a NEW dream is taking its place
⇒ How Wall Street is speeding all this up… and what YOU can do to get ahead
Why I Prefer Renting to Buying
Don’t get me wrong – I remember what it’s like to live in shitty apartments.
I remember having to deal with landlords and scrape together enough money to make rent each month.
So when I finally owned my dream home on the beach in La Jolla, I thought I’d made it.
But as I’ve mentioned time and time again, owning a house can weigh you down and keep you from growing, both as an individual and as an investor.
These days, I actually like being able to move to a different house every few years.
I’ve lived in some of the nicest houses out there, and I find no shame in telling you I’ve rented most of them, even when I could pay for them in full.
(And I DO make sure to pay in full if I do buy a house. I never use debt on things I own.)
Look, there is so much freedom in renting.
When my family and I travel the world, we rent different houses in each country we visit.
We’ve stayed in houses in the sky, houses on the ocean, houses on the beach, and houses in the jungle.
It’s a good experience for my kids.
And I don’t tell you any of this to brag.
I want you to see that I’m living proof that America is becoming a Renter’s Nation… and that’s not a bad thing.
Is It Unethical to Rent to Others?
Some people will read this article and say, “Whoa, America’s becoming a nation of renters? That’s not fair.”
The game is NEVER fair, guys.
REMEMBER: IT’S THE SPECTATORS WHO CRITICIZE FROM THE SIDELINES, BUT THE PLAYERS ARE THE ONES WHO GET PAID.
So learn how to play the game.
That said, you need to have a strong set of morals and ethics in the real estate game.
If you’re driven by this Renter’s Nation shift out of pure greed, you’re never going to get far.
Remember this: You have an ethical obligation to take care of your family, your fellow investors, your tenants, and your property management team.
I’m very aware that my tenants call my rental properties HOME, and that my property management teams depend on me for their LIVELIHOODS.
I don’t take that responsibility lightly.
That’s why it’s so important for me to find multifamily deals BIG enough to cash-flow every month.
That way, I can hire good property managers whom I trust to take good care of my tenants.
And I make sure to pay their teams extremely well.
This is not a perk or a luxury, guys. This is an ethical duty I have towards my tenants and property management team.
With that said, let’s talk about some fundamental reasons why America is becoming a nation of renters.
Why the Death of the American Dream Is a Good Thing
We all know that owning a house was one of the BIGGEST symbols of the American Dream.
Many people grew up wanting to own homes that were 17,000 square feet, with a backyard, lawn, and white picket fence.
It was the ultimate symbol of financial freedom.
But as comedian George Carlin once joked, “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
And I hate to break the news to you, but I have to agree with him.
The American Dream isn’t real anymore. I’d even go so far as to say it’s dead.
It might have been alive in the 1950s, when you could have bought a house for $44,600. That was the median home value back then, adjusted for inflation.
But as you’ll see in the chart below, 2022 median home prices have hit more than $350,000, which is set to increase to $376,100 by early 2023!
Source: National Association of Realtors / Statista
That’s almost 9 times the price of a house in the 1950s!
I’m not telling you all this to make you feel bad if you can’t afford a home.
If you want to think like a student of real estate, keep reading to find out where the opportunity lies.
So, while it’s normal for housing prices to rise over time – it’s a problem for new home buyers because:
1) Wages are not keeping up with homeownership rates.
In a time of rising interest rates, homeownership costs are only going to get more expensive.
According to Brian Walsh, a CFP and senior manager for fintech company SoFi, “Borrowers will either need to have higher incomes or make larger down payments to keep their debt-to-income level reasonable.”
But did you know that the average salary needed to pay for a home and a yearly fixed mortgage is almost $76,000?
That’s almost $10 GRAND MORE than the median national household income of $67,500.
This doesn’t even include rehab and maintenance costs!
How can we expect the average American to afford to buy a home, fix it up, repair old pipes, AND pay down the mortgage on that kind of income?
And as you’ll see later, it’s starting to make more financial sense for Americans to rent than to buy.
2) Housing prices are quickly outpacing inflation.
In September 2022, home prices rose 11.4% year-over-year.
This was much faster than the consumer inflation rate, which reached 8.2% year-over-year in the same month.
So you can’t blame people for struggling to keep up with rising gas and food prices, let alone think about buying a home.
It’s no surprise that only 16 percent of people surveyed by Fannie Mae feel it’s now a good time to buy a home.
And with the Fed’s interest rate hikes and the subsequent increase in mortgage rates, I believe you will continue to see America transforming into a nation of renters instead of homeowners.
3) America’s debt problem is also keeping many people from owning homes.
This is the kind of BAD debt I wish everyone could avoid, but as we all know, the game is rigged.
(I know I talk about using leverage to finance multifamily deals. That’s GOOD debt – the kind that’s carefully calculated and paid down by your cash flow, not you.)
And the unfortunate reality is that many Americans are falling deeper into debt to pay for rising day-to-day expenses.
In November 2022, CNBC reported that Americans’ credit card balances jumped 15% – the highest it’s surged annually in over 20 years.
Combine that with the estimated $1.77 trillion that U.S. borrowers hold in student debt, and you can see why paying for homeownership is becoming more and more impossible for many people.
With all things considered, it’s no wonder homeownership has been steadily declining since around 2004, as you can see below.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau / FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data)
There was a sharp spike in 2020 due to the pandemic and cheap credit, but that trend clearly didn’t last.
I’ve been saying for years that America is becoming a nation of renters.
Here is the cold, hard PROOF, my friends. The numbers don’t lie.
In 2021, people across the U.S. rented close to 44 MILLION housing units.
As you can see in the chart below, this number has been STEADILY increasing since 1975.
This chart also suggests demand for rental housing is on the rise, probably because supply can’t keep up with the demand.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development / Statista
I believe this upward trend in rental demand is going to last for a long time. And it’s critical that YOU learn how you could be capitalizing on it today.
Here are 2 more important statistics you need to know.
In 2015, Statista found that it could cost a person up to 93% more to rent than to own a home, depending on which state they lived in the U.S.
And a recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data also reveals that if a person is still paying off their mortgage, it is likely cheaper for them to rent than it is to own a home in each of the nation’s 50 largest metros.
So you see, there are so many reasons why the average American would rent instead of buy…
And I think there’s nothing wrong with that – because I believe in a new kind of American Dream.
The Rise of the New American Dream
I know how many of you out there have it so deeply embedded in your psyche that you MUST own a home – to have something that’s yours.
I know how powerful that old American Dream is… and I’m not telling you to stop dreaming.
But You Have to Recognize That More and More People Have a New Dream Now
Freedom. Mobility. Flexibility.
I’ll show you the proof in just a moment.
But first, let me just tell you I am 100% on board with this new Dream.
After all, my circumstances are rapidly changing day by day, and I don’t want to get locked into a single location.
So why would I want to get stuck with a 30-year mortgage when I could just take on a 10-month lease?
And I know many people who don’t want to get locked into anything either, whether it’s jobs, houses, or cars.
In fact, did you know that the number of people staying in ONE job for the rest of their lives is steadily decreasing every year?
After all, why would they stay when they could be earning more elsewhere?
Check this out: in 2022, Pew Research Center reported that most U.S. workers who changed jobs end up earning MORE than their previous jobs.
And roughly 1 out of 5 workers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months.
With the number of people looking for new jobs increasing, guess what happens?
More and more people are relocating and renting. I’ll show you this amazing migration pattern and what it means for you in just a minute.
Look, people don’t want to feel tied down to a house anymore. And they have to go where the job opportunities are.
And it’s not just the job seekers who feel this way about homeownership.
There’s One Group of People Who Have No Choice but to Embrace the New American Dream
I’m talking about the Millennials – the LARGEST generation in America.
They form almost a quarter of the U.S. population as a whole at 72.1 million.
In 2021, 77% of Millennials surveyed said they had given up on homeownership.
They said that they will probably always rent because they cannot afford to buy a home…
This is likely due to their massive student debt and the repressed wages they faced after the 2008 Great Recession.
Plus, there simply aren’t enough houses for all 72.1 million members of their generation.
Because in the decade following the financial crisis, homebuilders were reluctant to produce more homes, contributing to a now massive housing shortage.
So it’s unsurprising that the number of millennials expected to be “Forever Renters” has steadily risen between 2018 and 2022, and I expect this number to continue growing.
And when it does, I want to make sure I’m there to meet their need for rental housing.
There’s Another Massive Generational Group That’s Embracing the New American Dream
That’s right, I’m referring to the 71.6 million Baby Boomers out there. Heck, I’m ONE of them.
And I completely understand why they’re moving away from homeownership to rentership.
I tried to buy my mom a house in her last years, and she said, “I don’t want a house. I don’t want to take care of it. I don’t want to worry about the light bulbs going out.”
She wanted to be able to just call someone to fix her house, and free up her time in old age.
See, seniors just don’t want to assume the burden of homeownership in their golden years anymore.
In fact, Baby Boomers are one of the fastest-growing groups of renters, according to CNBC.
Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent.
Because Baby Boomers know that homeownership means locking themselves down.
They don’t want to fix their roofs, repaint the house, or mow the lawn in their 60s… when they could be relaxing on a cruise.
They want to free up their well-earned time and money. They want to travel.
Can you see now why I call this the new American Dream? And why America is indeed turning into a nation of renters?
People want the location freedom, lifestyle freedom, and financial freedom that come with RENTING.
And they can’t get that from homeownership.
So what does this new American Dream mean for you and the Renter Nation?
Well here’s one key thing you must know first…
America’s “Top” Cities Are Dying
Gone are the days of Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago reigning as some of the top cities to live in America.
In fact, CBS News reported that Chicago and parts of New York are among the top 12 SHRINKING major cities in America.
And cities that showed the greatest population losses from 2020 to 2021 include San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston.
Just because America is becoming a nation of renters does NOT mean you should invest in rental housing in any random city or market.
You know how people say – follow the money?
What they don’t tell you is that if you want to follow the money, you have to follow the PEOPLE.
Meet the New Capitals of America’s Nation of Renters
You have to know WHERE all the people from these dying cities are going.
This will tell you where the new “capitals” of this Renter’s Nation are.
According to a report by North American Van Lines, the number of people moving jumped 20% in 2021, as compared to 2020.
Meanwhile, the top states people are leaving include Illinois, California, New Jersey, Michigan, and New York.
This is not surprising to me at all.
As of September 2022, a person would pay about $1,300 a month for rent in North Carolina and Tennessee.
Compare that to monthly rents of up to $3,300 in New York or $2,700 in California.
No wonder people are flocking to the South in droves!
So pay attention to these trends. I am teaching you where your potential tenants are likely to end up.
If you’re sharp, you could use this knowledge to follow the money… and you could learn how to invest in quality apartment buildings at great prices.
Why Demand for Your Rental Units Will Likely Renew Every Year
When most people’s great-great-grandparents moved to America, they probably didn’t buy a house as soon as they got here.
Instead, they likely rented a house or an apartment unit.
That’s why I believe that due to immigration, you could see new demand for your rental units every single year.
In fact, I recently saw this fascinating map that tracks the migration of the world’s millionaires.
Source: Visual Capitalist
Get this – 88,000 millionaires were projected to move to a new country in 2022 because of war, political instability, and several other factors…
And America is one of the TOP 5 countries they’re choosing to move to.
So, I believe they’ll bring with them a surging demand for luxury rental units as part of the new Renter’s Nation.
Imagine if you learned how to capitalize on these luxury units… before MORE of these millionaires arrive?
In fact, more than 1 million immigrants arrive in the U.S. each year.
Thus, there could be a regular influx of new money from immigrants of ALL wealth classes.
And I believe it could sustain America as a nation of renters for a long, long time to come.
You’ll likely always have renewed demand for your apartment buildings, should you learn how to invest in them.
In fact, a 2017 article in the Journal of Housing Economics found that the influx of immigrants was associated with a rise in both rents and home prices.
So that’s why you can almost be certain that your investment properties will keep appreciating (increasing in value) every year.
Why Time Is Running Out For Investors
Many places across the globe have already become Renter’s Nations.
Take Europe for example.
A 2018 study titled “Renting Landscape in 30 Countries Around the World” reported that Europe is where you’ll find the top 8 countries with the largest renter share increase from 2010 to 2015.
“Renter’s share” refers to the percentage of the population who RENTS instead of owns their homes.
And look at the HUGE percentages of renters in Europe!
⇒ Switzerland: 56.6%
⇒ Germany: 48.1%
⇒ Austria: 44.3%
⇒ United Kingdom: 36.5%
⇒ France: 35.9%
Clearly, the Renter’s Nation is already a reality in several major countries!
And here’s the most surprising fact of all:
The total number of renters in America is growing two times faster than in the European Union!
Meaning we are on the VERGE of becoming a Renter’s Nation right here, in the U.S.
And I’ve been saying this for YEARS…
But most people don’t pay attention simply because it hasn’t happened yet.
Trust me – in a few years, those people will probably regret not learning more about apartments right NOW.
Don’t be one of those people.
We’re Also Running Out of Houses
While rental housing includes single-family homes, developers just aren’t building many of them.
A 2022 Harvard study found that a mere 227,000 single-family rental units were completed between 2014 and 2019.
Compare that to the almost 2 MILLION new apartment units completed in this period.
In fact, multifamily units accounted for about 89% of all buildings constructed in the same period!
Why is this happening?
It’s more profitable for builders to build apartments than it is for them to build single-family homes these days.
In fact, real estate professor Susan Wachter at the Wharton School says, “If you can build four, 10 units, on a quarter-acre as opposed to one unit on a quarter acre, you save, you economize on the cost of land.”
But pieces of land that are zoned for apartment buildings are in short supply.
And due to supply and labor shortages, the supply of multifamily units isn’t keeping up with demand.
So there just aren’t enough apartment units to go around right now.
If you’re a multifamily investor who learns how to embrace America becoming a nation of renters…
This means you’re likely going to face white-hot demand for your apartment units for a long time.
Plus, Wall Street Is Turning Real Estate Upside Down
According to The New York Times in 2021, Wall Street has snapped up more than 200,000 single-family homes, worth about $60 billion in total.
You see, it wasn’t enough that the fat cats on Wall Street toppled the financial system in 2008…
Several of these Wall Street investors later loaded up on foreclosure properties at a discount… and rented them out after the Great Recession.
And today, they’re squeezing every last drop of money out of single-family renters.
Some of the unscrupulous things they allegedly do include:
⇒ Hiring dishonest property managers who refuse to cash rental checks… so they can evict tenants for “nonpayment”
⇒ Charging excessive fees for utilities, landscaping, pets, and even rehabbing the house for the next tenant
⇒ Poor maintenance and lack of inspections – leading to nightmares like flooding, defective pipes, and mildewed carpeting
This is DESPITE these firms raising rents!
You have to wonder: Where is their cash flow going? Why aren’t they taking care of THEIR tenants?
And if Wall Street can’t even manage single-family residences (SFRs) properly – how could anyone else expect to scale as an individual SFR investor?
SFRs are simply a poor model for tenants and real estate investors alike.
And I believe this pressure on single-family renters is going to drive MORE Americans to rent apartment units instead…
Especially from multifamily investors who MASTER the art of cash flow…
And know how to use that cash flow to take good care of their tenants.
Why You Must Act On America Becoming a Nation of Renters — Today
Your decision has to be right now.
Because many people are wondering if they should buy or rent.
And they’re completely missing the point… But YOU’RE not.
So your questions should be:
⇒ How can I learn to ethically take advantage of this?
⇒ Where will I be when America becomes a full-blown nation of renters?
Because America is more than a perfect lawn with a white picket fence.
And I know where I’ll be when America becomes a nation of renters:
I’ll be following the NEW Dreamers: the job seekers, the opportunity seekers, and the freedom seekers.
And I am going to follow the money… and take good care of those people.
Disclaimer: This content is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. Before investing, you should always do your own analysis based on your own financial and personal circumstances before making any investment. Grant Cardone is an industry expert who has been investing for over 30 years and his opinion is based solely on his own personal experience and circumstances. Individual results may vary. You should perform your own due diligence and seek the advice from a professional to verify any information on our website or materials that you are relying upon if you choose to make an investment. Investment involves great risk and there is no guarantee of performance or results.
We are not attorneys, investment advisers, accountants, tax professionals or financial advisers and any of the content presented should not be taken as professional advice. We recommend seeking the advice of a financial professional before you invest, and we accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage you may incur.