These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much.
With demand for apartments surging, rents are projected to rise for a fifth straight year. Even a pickup in apartment construction is unlikely to provide much relief anytime soon.
That bodes well for building owners and their investors. Yet, the landlord-friendly trends will likely further strain the finances of many renters.
A 6 percent rise in apartment rents between 2000 and 2012 has been exacerbated by a 13 percent drop in income among renters nationally over the same period, according to a report from Apartment List, a rental housing website, which used inflation-adjusted figures.
"That's what we call the affordability gap," says John Kobs, Apartment List's chief executive.
A combination of rising rents and sluggish pay gains will likely continue to weigh on the U.S. economy.