Construction starts for single-family, built-for-rent homes increased 50% last quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Built-for-rent homes are a way to add more affordable options to the housing stock, especially now as more Americans desire larger homes and single-family options, says the National Association of Home Builders. According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s data on quarterly starts and completions, roughly 12,000 single-family built-for-rent homes began construction at the end of 2020’s fourth quarter. Compared to the same timeframe in 2019, this is a 50% increase. Comparing the past four quarters with the four prior quarters, there are 13% more single-family construction starts.
Given the small size of this market segment, the quarter-to-quarter movements typically are not statistically significant. The current four-quarter moving average of market share (4.5%) remains higher than the historical average of 2.7% (1992-2012) but is down from the 5.8% reading registered at the start of 2013. As measured for this analysis, this class of single-family construction excludes homes that are sold to another party for rental purposes, which NAHB estimates may represent another two percent of single-family starts. The estimates in this post only include homes built and held by the builder for rental purposes.