More people are renting than at any other point in the past 50 years.
In 2016, 36.6 percent of household heads rented their home, close to the 1965 number of 37 percent, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center based on data from the Census Bureau. The total number of U.S. households grew by 7.6 million over the past decade, Pew reported. However, the number of households headed by owners remained relatively flat, while households headed by renters grew by nearly 10 percent during the same time period.
Rising home prices, lingering fears from the housing crash, and larger amounts of student debt are some of the reasons why many Americans see the appeal of renting, said Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew and one of the report's authors. Millennials (those age 35 and younger) continue to be the most likely of all age groups to rent. In 2016, 65 percent of households headed by young adults were renting.
Other reasons could be that young adults haven't accumulated enough wealth for a down payment on a house, Fry said. Also, owning a home inhibits moving, and young adults are the most likely age group to move, so they may prefer not to own just yet, he said.
Housing prices have been rising, with the median value of all homes in the U.S. in June surpassing $200,000. In the long run, though, buying is still a better deal than renting, said Weidner.
People must realize that although a mortgage seems like a huge investment, your incomes are likely to rise, especially if you're a millennial, Weidner said, and over time the housing payment won't seem as big.
"The toughest times [after buying a house] is in those first few years. Down the road those costs will start to shrink as part of the overall home budget," Weidner said.
Although renting is today's trend, the future could look different. Nearly three-quarters of renters said they would like to buy a house at some point, according to a 2016 Pew survey.
Source: Abigail Summerville, CNBC Richard Fry, Senior Researcher, Pew