While it may be an exaggeration to say the American Dream of homeownership is dead, it's a fact that more and more Americans are choosing to rent. That shift, combined with a growing population, translates into opportunity for apartment REITs.

“There seems to be a growing consumer preference for renting,” says Mike Salinksy, a vice president with RBC Capital Markets who specializes in apartment REITs. “You have a situation where people are fearful of buying a home because they don't feel confident with valuations. That fear, along with stricter lending standards, is causing a lot of people to wait to buy a home.”

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