If you spend any time reading about real estate, you know that there has been a lot of discussion recently about inventory and first-time home buyers. Specifically, there are fewer homes available for sale and fewer first-time home buyers active in the market than is considered typical. Of course, there are many reasons that both of these things are true. Among them, slower-than-normal new home construction, student loan debt, and rising rent all play a role. But, according to a recent analysis from Zillow, there’s another reason that there are fewer homes on the market and fewer young people buying. According to the analysis, many of the affordable homes that would typically sell to first-time buyers were purchased by investors after home prices plummeted following the housing crash. These houses were then converted into rental properties. This, combined with rising demand for single-family rentals, has led to a six percent increase in the number of single-family homes rented out between 2007 and 2016. In short, there are fewer affordable homes to buy in many markets because those homes are currently being occupied as rental units. More here.