Phoenix Tops With Most Single-Family Rentals, Multifamily Still Strong

Usually associated with the suburbs, single-family rentals have expanded much faster than the multifamily stock in no less than 22 of the 30 largest US cities.
Source: RentCafé

Although the multifamily sector witnessed a frenzy of apartment construction in the past few years, single-family homes for rent were the fastest growing type of rental after the housing crash. According to the most recent study by RENTCafé, compiled with US census data, single-family rentals in the U.S. have expanded twice as much as multifamily rentals between 2007 and 2016. While SFR grew by 31 percent, multifamily units only went up 14 percent. Usually associated with the suburbs, single-family rentals have expanded much faster than the multifamily stock in no less than 22 of the 30 largest US cities.

Phoenix is in the lead with a whopping 77 percent increase in SFR, followed by Boston (63%) and Fort Worth (60%). Arizona’s urban core also showed the most significant net gain in SFR among the cities that were included in the study: close to 44,000 homes turned into rentals here between 2007 and 2016. Despite this jump however, the total number of apartments for rent in Phoenix, more than 154,000, still surpasses the number of single-family rentals at 100,000.

If we zoom out to the metro level, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area has the fourth largest share of SFR (43%), surpassed only by Oklahoma City, Memphis, and the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metro areas.

Despite the incredible growth, single-family rentals aren’t going to take over the housing stock anytime soon. There’s still a long way to go: as of 2016, the U.S. Census counted a total of 15 million SFR versus a total of 26 million apartments nationwide.