Still a strong demand for rentals

Rental executives say some recent move-ins chose to rent instead of buy given the economic uncertainty. Others have leased houses to get out of apartment buildings, given the contamination risks associated with close living.

“You have this squeeze from both sides,” said Amherst’s Mr. Flahive.
The executives say it is unclear whether historically low borrowing costs will prompt a surge of homebuying, or aspiring homeowners will be stymied by more restrictive mortgage lending. Either way, there may not be enough new suburban homes to meet demand, given the slowdown in construction.

“We’re still going to have the fundamental lack of supply to meet normal household formation,” said Invitation’s 39-year-old Chief Executive Dallas Tanner, who is the same age as the company’s typical tenant. “There are 65 million people between the ages of 20 to 35 coming our way.”

Write to Ryan Dezember at ryan.dezember@wsj.com

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