As rising home prices, slow new home construction and demographic shifts push homeownership rates to 50-year lows, the U.S. is increasingly a country of renters-and landlords. Last year, 37 percent of homes sold were acquired by buyers who didn't live in them, according to tax-assessment data compiled by Attom Data Solutions and ClearCapital.com Inc. That number may include second homes, or properties acquired by investors who seek to fix up old homes and resell them at a profit.

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