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Suburban Demand Pushes Up Single-Family Rents

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Market Data + Trends

Suburban Demand Pushes Up Single-Family Rents


November 11, 2020
Suburban homes
Photo: jpldesigns

Unlike dropping city center rents, suburban single-family home rentals are raising rents to make the most out of the suburban housing demand. There are two large landlords, Invitation Homes and American Homes 4 Rent, that own hundreds of thousands of single-family rentals and occupancy rates are at record highs. While millions of Americans struggle to pay rent, the two landlord giants receive timely payments and occupants who opt for higher rent than moving elsewhere. Realtor.com says renters who want outdoor space and home offices, for example, are willing to cough up the money.

A Covid-19 vaccine might make moving to the suburbs less urgent for some, but rental executives and investors expect favorable demographic and housing-market dynamics to outlast the pandemic.

“The demand we see today is totally insatiable, and it’s growing,” said David Singelyn, chief executive of American Homes 4 Rent, which owns more than 53,000 houses in 22 states and collects an average monthly rent of $1,686.

Asking rents for available properties owned by big home-rental firms jumped 7.5% in October, according to real-estate analytics firm Green Street. It was the fifth straight month of year-over-year increases and the biggest since the firm began tracking in 2014, when financiers were still gobbling up foreclosures.

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