From Home Builder To Landlord: The Growing Market For Rental Homes

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April 05, 2016

Not all rental units are part of a multifamily building. When the discussion between renting or buying is discussed, it is often thought of as a discussion between a house versus an apartment. But thanks to a new trend, rental communities of single-family homes are growing in popularity.

Lennar's Frontera at Pioneer Meadows project, which is located just outside of Reno, has completed 135 of its proposed 236 homes, all of which will be rented. And Lennar isn’t the only one employing this new single-family home rental strategy. There are at least four U.S. builders constructing rental houses across the country, The OC Register reports.

With it becoming increasingly difficult to come up with a down payment for a house, more and more people are drawn to renting, but that doesn’t mean they prefer an apartment to a house.

From 2007 to 2012, the number of U.S. houses built as rentals has doubled. Additionally, rental houses represented 3 percent to 6 percent of all single-family starts in the country since 2007. For the previous 17 years, rental house starts only represented 2 percent to 3 percent of all single-family starts.

Lennar’s Frontera project has proven successful so far, as the company reports an average of two leases per week since the development opened in March 2015, and the home builder is thinking about building more rental houses in a new development outside of Bakersfield, Calif.

Other home builders who have turned at least some of their attention to building single-family rentals are AHV Communities, RSI Communities, and Camillo Properties. Together, these companies have combined to build over 4,300 rental houses, townhomes, and duplexes across the country.

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