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More homeowners opt to become landlords

Published: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 2:21 p.m. CDT

By Paul Tooher

Having a hard time selling your home? How about offering it for rent instead?

That’s the option an increasing number of homeowners are taking these days, according to an analysis by USA Today of U.S. Census Bureau data.

According to the national newspaper, at least a fifth of all occupied single-family homes were rentals last year in 32 of the nation's top metropolitan regions. That's up from seven metros in 2006.

Nationwide, 18 percent of occupied single-family homes last year were rentals, up from nearly 15 percent in 2006, according to data based on the American Community Survey, an annual Census Bureau survey.

USA Today reported that metros with the most growth in single-family rentals are those where foreclosures were most rampant, including Las Vegas, Florida and Central California.

Chicagoland communities are actually well below the national average, with the share of single-family houses that were rented in 2012 at 12.3 percent, up from 8.3 percent in 2006.

According to Zillow, there were 29 houses for rent in Crystal Lake in late October, with monthly rents ranging from $775 a month to $2,500 a month.

The Zillow Home Value Index for Crystal Lake has increased 11.9 percent over the past year to $161,400 at the end of September. Zillow reports that 83 homes were sold in August of this year, compared with 56 during the same period last year, a 48.2 percent increase.

Metro areas with the highest percent of single-family homes occupied by renters include Stockton, Calif., 32 percent, the highest rate of the 100 communities reviewed; Fresno, Calif., 31.1 percent; Bakersfield, Calif., 30.6 percent; Cape Coral, Fla., 25.4 percent; Honolulu, 29.6 percent; Las Vegas, 28.9 percent; San Diego, 26 percent; Los Angeles, 25.7 percent; San Bernardino/Riverside, 25 percent; Sacramento, Calif., 24.5 percent and Phoenix, 23.5 percent.

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