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Single-family build-to-rent (BTR) developments are on the rise across the U.S. as would-be buyers seek out spacious rental housing, but according to Forbes, the two product types gaining the most significant shares in the BTR sector are horizontal apartment communities and townhome communities. Phoenix saw the most growth in horizontal apartment deliveries from 2016 to 2023 with a gain of 9,320 BTR additions, followed by 6,863 new apartments in Dallas-Fort Worth and 5,137 completed apartment projects in Denver.

In the market for BTR townhomes, Dallas-Fort Worth saw the most growth, with an increase of 3,406 units from 2016 to 2023, followed by 2,426 added townhomes in Phoenix and a gain of 2,210 in Atlanta.

We’ll start with the 900-pound gorilla that was the birthplace of BTR: namely, Phoenix. Phoenix has seen the most activity in the entire country with built-to-rent development since the very beginning, particularly the horizontal-apartment type.

The BTR business started out in Phoenix, born out of the distress of the Great Financial Crisis. Immediately after the GFC, investors were able to aggregate plenty of supply from foreclosures, but by 2012, they had exhausted much of that supply, and started to build whole new communities of homes for rent.

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