Monday, May 03, 2010

Rental Income Blowout!

The Bureau of Economic Analysis tracks the rental income portion of personal income and publishes the results quarterly as the series titled “Rental Income of Persons with Capital Consumption Adjustment.

The bureau defines this component as the following:

“Rental income of persons with capital consumption adjustment (2–10) is the net current production income of persons (except those primarily engaged in the real estate business) from the rental of real property, the imputed net rental income of owner occupants of farm and nonfarm dwellings, and the royalties received by persons from patents, copyrights, and rights to natural resources.”

Along with rental income coming from real property, the BEA also includes “imputed” income of owner occupied dwellings and royalties from things people have rights over (patents, copyrights, and natural resources).

Since early 2007 there has been a significant boom in rental income with the total jumping over 140% from $121 billion to where it stands today at $292 billion.

The question is though, how real is this income (i.e. non-imputed etc.) and how much impact is the real portion having on personal consumption expenditures.

One might interpret this series as suggesting that individuals (not real estate professionals) are now deriving a significant amount more income from the rental of real property.

Could this be a byproduct of “accidental landlords”?