Single Family Rental Demand Greater Than Supply

A post on the Wall Street Journal real estate blog looks at the not-so-surprising news that demand for single family rental homes is outpacing supply:

Demand for single-family rental housing is outstripping the available supply of homes, and some housing markets that have been hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis have seen rental demand jump by more than 25% in the past year, according to a report to be released Tuesday by real-estate firm CoreLogic CLGX +1.54%.

It shouldn’t be surprising that single family rental demand has picked up in recent years: There are many families who have lost their homes to foreclosure or that can’t qualify for mortgages given tighter underwriting standards.

But the magnitude of rental-demand gains is still eye-opening. Markets that include Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Riverside, Calif.; and Tucson, Ariz., have all seen rental demand jump by 25% over the past year, and 22 of 30 markets tracked by CoreLogic have seen year-over-year leasing gains…

Slightly more than half of all rental units in the U.S., or around 21 million units, are single-family homes. Around four in five of those unit owners are individual investors…

Single-family rents, which tend to show less volatility in either direction than home prices, rose by 2% last year and have increased by 1% so far this year, after declining in 2009 and 2010. “While those increases are low, rent growth typically lags home price growth by about 12 months,” writes Sam Khater, senior economist at CoreLogic, in the report. He expects rent growth to increase “at a strong clip” late this year and throughout 2013, though not at the same rate as home prices.