Rental vacancies dropping as young adults finally start moving out of parents' home

Of course household demand can come from different places: If a married couple gets a divorce, and each take separate living quarters, household demand has increased. But supporting the theory that the demand is bubbling up from the young is the fact that the Millenials, as this generation is known, are oh-so-slowly getting jobs.

For example, unemployment among those 25-29 has fallen from a May 2010 peak of 11.2% to February 2012′s 9.9%. (Check out this great chart from the Philadelphia Inquirer here.)

What does that mean for the housing market? Well, for starters, it should push more buyers into the system. As more of the Millenials compete to rent, that pushes rental prices up, which makes some renters look more favorably toward buying. It’s tough to predict what the ratio will be — will every 10 new renters create one new buyer? two? five? — but it’s clear that demand for owner-occupied housing, which has been slack for five years, is poised to swing up.