I can’t be the only one who felt validated by Thursday’s Union-Tribune article predicting a possible decline in rents. I’ve been thinking rental prices will come down ever since homeowners in my neighborhood started replacing their “For Sale” signs with ones that say, “For Rent.”

Turns out plenty of sellers can’t just hold on to their house until the market springs back to life — as bullish market watchers suggest — some people actually have to move for their job and that means sell or rent the property. The article was based on just one study released yesterday, but it confirms a trend that has already been noticed in Washington, D.C., where the stagnant new and resale housing market has created a surge in rental properties both by “sellers-turned-landlords” and “investor-landlords” who bought multiple condos during the boom years, the Washington Post reported Jan. 6.

Personally, I don’t think rents are rising or dropping as much as they are simply arbitrary — as arbitrary as housing prices. It all depends on the motivation of the seller-landlord. If you have a big mortgage to cover and have to move across the country — where you’ll be paying for another living space — you’ll charge as much rent as you can and hope someone bites.

I’d love to hear what readers think about the rental market. Is it headed up or down?


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