Apparently 33.6% of households are renters and that there are a total of 38 million household renters in the United States according to the Associated Press. As more an more people are going bankrupt, facing foreclosures and facing unemployment, more and more people are turning to renting. This is driving up the price of rentals in many cities throughout the United States. I know here in San Francisco the supply for rental units in Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights is particularly limited with extremely low vacancy rates.
There is also a younger generation of people who no longer view home ownership as something desirable. They have seen family and friends' home values deteriorate and are more and more turning to rentals. The Associated Press' article stated that according to Moody's Analytics it is cheaper to rent in about 72 percent of the biggest metro areas than to carry a mortgage.