Why the preference for renting over owning? Hiles indicates that, in Texas and across the nation, people welcome the flexibility that accompanies the rental lifestyle. “We’re a mobile population,” he reflects. “The idea of settling in one place for a decade – or for the length of a 30-year mortgage – doesn’t hold the same appeal as it did a generation or two ago.” Debunking the myth that homeowners have an edge when it comes to personal fulfillment, Hiles points to research demonstrating that renters come out on top. “People who rent actually spend more time engaging in leisure activities and interacting with their friends and neighbors,” he adds.