We recently stumbled across a revealing report published by the Redfin Research Center . Redfin surveyed 1,909 home buyers in 22 major metropolitan markets and found that 39% of them prefer to rent their last home rather than sell. This is an astonishingly high number.

We also find it a somewhat disconcerting number. We've long been advocates of normalized housing markets – markets driven by occupied owners. These markets tend to be more stable, and less prone to speculative fervor.

To be sure, we have nothing against single-family rental properties. They satisfy a very real need. That so many people want to be rental landlords these days isn't necessary a good thing, though: For one, it withholds inventory that could benefit those who wish to own and occupy. Second, the rental market isn't what it used to be: Large institutional single-home landlords like American Homes 4Rent and Invitation Homes have entered the market. This is a recent phenomenon and one difficult to gauge on home prices and future rents.

Selling and financing these rentals is obviously good for business, but only if were not sacrificing the future for the present. After all, another housing bubble (and were not saying we're currently in a bubble) is the last thing we would want to again endure.

 Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

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