Cliff Peskin


Nov 29, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg has begun a new trend outside the realm of Facebook. Its called renting instead of owning if you’re a rich American.

The U.S. just can’t shake its real estate slump and so the wealthy are adjusting. They’re following Zuckerberg’s lead and ditching home ownership for rentals.

CNBC describes highly paid banking executive Patrick Lee who sold his Manhattan apartment and moved, along with his wife and child, a few steps away into a luxury, two-bedroom rental unit in a newly constructed building where apartments rent for about $11,000 a month.

According to Lee, he sold his home out of concern over the fluctuating housing market. “I wanted to protect ourselves from prices going down. I didn’t want to be an owner anymore.”

Jack McCabe, an independent real estate analyst and CEO of McCabe Research and Consulting in Deerfield Beach, Fla. says, “More affluent Americans are opting to rent as opposed to buy. Within the last year, so many people have seen their family and friends get burned in real estate. They don’t see it as being a risk free investment as they used to.”

Manhattan, in particular, is seeing big gains in the luxury rental market. From July to June 2009 there were 200 new leases signed for rentals charging $10,000 a month and up, more than double the 89 leases signed the year before.

Zuckerberg is driving the rental bus and rich Americans are jumping on…beep beep.

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