There are some 40 million rental units in America today. And that segment is growing fast as more Americans choose to rent instead of own in a tepid real estate market. While some technology providers have come to the rescue of landlords and prospective tenants, much opportunity remains.
With home prices down 34% from their July 2006 peak, resulting in more than $16 trillion in vaporized household net worth, you can’t blame Americans for wanting to move on with their lives. That typically means renting a home or apartment, as fewer Americans now believe that owning a home is better than renting, 63% today, down from 89% in 1996:.
That trend has fueled a rental market with the tightest demand in 10 years. Leading the U.S. rental market is the tech-heavy San Francisco Bay Area, with San Francisco rental prices up15% and Oakland, Calif., up 11%, as of June 2012.
But tenants and landlords know that finding and renting a home or apartment is not a simple process. The finding part has been made easier with the emergence of Craigslist as the default mother of all U.S. rental listings. Yet the procedure of applying for a rental and getting your application approved remains arduous. Thankfully it’s now being addressed by a few savvy technology providers.
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