After the housing boom, some developers turned to single-family rentals as a way to boost their coffers until home buyers could muster up down payments and credit limits again.
Demand for these rental detached single-family homes that provide all the space without the financial or time commitment has brought developers great success. Now, they're following up on the trend with new master planned communities solely designed for renters.
The new rental communities look identical to for-sale projects, with pools, fitness centers and walking trails. But they are operated like apartment complexes, with management handling maintenance, lawn care and leasing.
The number of renter households increased by 9 million between 2005 and 2015, marking the largest increase over any 10-year period on record, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. In all, about 5% of all new single-family construction was built for rent in 2016, up from a historical average of less than 3%. Experts say that could expand in coming years if homeownership remains depressed and as older Americans consider downsizing.