Marcus Hiles’ Fort Worth based company Western Rim has a reputation for creating high-end residences that offer unmatched value. With upmarket homes, townhomes and apartments that combine state-of-the-art conveniences with resort-style on-site amenities, Hiles’ unique vision of affordable luxury for working class Texans remains as timely as when he founded the business in 1990. Despite ever-fluctuating trends in the U.S. housing market, one constant remains: more and more people are renting every year. Hiles discusses the changes in attitudes and demographics that have led to the continuing increase in rentership throughout the U.S.
Many factors are responsible for the move away from ownership. Marcus Hiles Fort Worth developer sees large-scale, generational shifts as important reasons, including the skyrocketing cost of a college education and its subsequent impact on personal debt; most millennials allocate 10 percent of their income to paying off student loans. Other age groups are also driving up numbers: generation X-ers remain renters longer, pushing up rates for 30–49 year olds, and baby boomers aged 50 and over have become more inclined to rent at a higher rate than others of their same age in previous years. Another cause lies in the transformation of traditional lifestyles. Almost half of all baby boomers were married by age 32 and intent on starting a family, while only a little more than a quarter of people in their 20s and 30s have wed. Being single and increasingly mobile means that the younger generation is farther from starting a family, and less inclined to pursue home ownership.
Marcus Hiles, Fort Worth real estate expert, says that renting is a practical option for those not financially ready to purchase a home. The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey noted that families earning more than $100,000 “often choose to rent because it provides flexibility and involves less stress for upkeep than owning,” while those earning less than $25,000 rent due to the affordability. The Wall Street Journal cites slow income growth and a lack of savings as significant considerations, regardless of how low mortgage rates may drop. Since accumulating savings can often be challenging, a 2016 study by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy stated that the overall number of rents outpaced inflation in the 11 largest U.S. metropolitan areas—except for the notable exception of Dallas and Houston, where they remained largely flat. “In Houston, just 41 percent of the population rented in 1970, but despite changes in wealth and employment, that number hit 54 percent by 2013,” said Hiles. “The idea that owning your home is the ultimate American Dream is being turned inside out.”
Chairman and CEO of Western Rim Properties, Marcus Hiles has changed the Texas landscape by building contemporary, high-quality communities across Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, New Braunfels, Austin and San Antonio. With ongoing efforts through his company, Hiles has successfully beautified the suburban areas he develops by contributing to the shade tree canopy, having planting a total of 30,000 trees during the last 10 years. Along with environmentally sound construction practices that include the installation of reflective TechShield® radiant barrier sheathing, full depth cellulose insulation and highly effectual weather stripping, Hiles has personally donated over 59 acres of parkland to the general public to preserve wildlife habitats and accessible green spaces.