The modern housing market has more people renting than buying in many major markets. Dr. Jim Gaines is chief economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.
He says getting a mortgage loan involves a lot of paperwork these days. At the same time house prices are going higher due to limited inventory. That changes attitudes.
“I'd just as soon rent as good through the hassle of trying to find a house,” Gaines says, “and I can't find the house that I would like to live in for the price that I am either willing or able to pay for it.”
Houston is about evenly split between renters and buyers -- but, 52 of the nation's 100 biggest cities have more people with a lease than those paying a mortgage.