A paperless leasing process

Startup Scene: LeaseRunner

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The same economic and demographic factors that seem to be conspiring to lower homeownership rates are contributing to what some are calling a boom in the rental market.

While the U.S. might not be a "renter nation" yet, the stats are compelling. Barron’s has predicted that rental rates may hit 36 percent by 2015, up from 32.8 percent in 2004. Data from some real estate research firms also indicate that effective rents nationwide are rising as rental vacancies drop.