In the American imagination, suburbs are places to buy a house and put down roots. But a growing percentage of suburbanites rent, according to a new study.
About 29% of suburbanites living outside the nation's 11 most populous cities were renters in 2014, up from 23 percent in 2006.
The finances of home ownership since the mortgage meltdown might be a lead reason for the change, but the cost of renting also is rising in most of the biggest metropolitan areas.
"It's the extensiveness of the affordability problem that is notable," said Laura Bailey, Capital One's managing vice president of community development.
Still, the study shows some of the nation's biggest rental markets have become more, not less, affordable to their typical tenants. Some findings:
At Home — With Renting — in the Suburbs
Renting is still more common in big cities than their suburbs. But the gap is narrowing.
Nationwide, 37% of all households now rent, the highest level since the mid-1960s.
Why Is This Happening?
Experts attribute the renter surge partly to the foreclosures, financial struggles, stagnant incomes and tighter credit that followed the mortgage meltdown. Researchers also note the wave of young adults — often renters — in the large, so-called Millennial generation, though the Harvard study in December noted a majority of U.S. renters now are 40 and older.