Everything Is a Rental Now

The idea of "buying" a home in this economy is reserved for people who are richer, more responsible, and luckier than you. For you, the average American, the only choice is to rent. Which is good, because they're building rentals faster than you can say "But will you allow my dog, Baxter?"

Traditionally, the people that build new buildings for people to live in would build some to "sell," for people with money to "buy," and some to "rent," for people who can barely scrape together a few bucks to keep themselves off the street. (A very slight exaggeration.) Nowadays though, according to the latest numbers in the Wall Street Journal, builders are building a far higher proportion of rentals than usual—about one third of all residential units, the highest level in 40 years. Why? Because of trends.

The move toward apartment construction reflects the convergence of several trends. Mortgage credit is still tight. Also, Americans have seen muted wage gains, and others have high student-debt loads, forcing people who otherwise would have bought homes to rent instead.

At the same time, as the job market improves, larger numbers of young adults are leaving their parents' homes and forming their own households—adding more to the demand for rentals.

A double-ended trend convergence: on the bottom, grown ass Americans who should by all rights be able to buy a home by now cannot buy a home, because they are too poor; and on the top, dripping down like stalactites, god damn millennials are getting real jobs again and moving out into their own places. The result is that both god damn kids and grown ass people are all competing for rentals. So it's nice they're building more, because who wants to get in a bidding war with a god damn kid over a god damn shitty rental apartment, of all things?

Renting is our fate. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can get off that heroin.

[Photo: AP]