Data shows Memphis has a 44% rental rate

I was reading an article in the Daily News about Memphis as an investor Mecca,  because rental properties thrive in tough economic times.  This may be especially true for single family houses, since families who may have lost their homes would probably tend to rent houses rather than moving to apartments or other multi-family buildings.  The article makes some interesting points about investing here and the number of out of town investors who favor Memphis.  But one statement really jumped out at me.  One of the folks featured stated the Memphis is 48% rental.  That got me searching for some data.

The only numbers I could find were on, and their stats showed Memphis has a 44% rental rate, as compared to 30% in the state.  But maybe this isn’t so bad, since Nashville has a 45%, Jackson, Ms- 43% and Atlanta, GA- 56%. reports  Memphis housing as:

Total Houses 271,723
Occupied Houses 250,810
Vacant Houses 20,913
Renters 110,727
Owner-Occupied 140,083

I think the info may reflect housing units and not actual houses, but there is no additional explanation.  The information is provided by Onboard Infomatics, and it would be nice to know a little bit more about the methodology.  What , if anything, do you think this says about home ownership, and do you think the trend is toward more and more rentals?

Joe Spake

Joe Spake is a Real Estate Broker and Consultant, specializing in Midtown, Downtown, and East Memphis residential properties. His interests include architecture, community activism, music, photography and cooking.

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