Why are single-family homes for rent so popular now?
While everyone's been waiting for homeownership to fully regain its pre-crisis strength, single-family rental homes have become "Plan B" for those anxious to break out of their apartments, and can't buy a house yet, or have lost their homes to foreclosure, short sale, or financial setbacks. A little over half of the total number of single-family home rentals on the U.S. market are occupied by families: married couples and parents with minor children.
Although they can cost on average about $1,000 more in monthly rent than an apartment, single-family rentals offer the extra space families need, the privacy of their own home, and the kind of neighborhood they want.
Houses are also the rental of choice for many single people who want to share the cost of rent with other single roommates. This demographic represents almost half of the renters living in single-family houses today. Census data also shows that people from all generations are renting single-family homes: we see a large number of downsizing baby-boomers, older millennials who are starting to form households, as well as Generation X-ers, who already have families with children.
When you hear the word 'renting', you usually think of apartment buildings and communities. And granted, apartments have seen an unprecedented boom lately, but they are not the ones to boast the largest growth in the past decade. This role is reserved for single-family rentals, that Plan B between owning a home and renting an apartment.
Despite the incredible growth, single-family rentals aren't going to take over anytime soon. There's still a long way to go: as of 2016, the US Census counted a total of over 15 million SFR vs. a total of over 26 million apartments.