According to the NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design data, the number of single-family homes built exclusively for rental purposes posted totaled 34,000 home starts over the last four quarters, up from the 28,000 new home starts estimated for the four quarters prior.
The current market share of single-family homes built for rent is 4.4% of total starts in the third quarter of 2016, on a one-year moving average. (The quarter-to-quarter movement of the single-family built-for-rent market share is not usually statistically significant, owing to the small size of the market segment.) This is above the historical average 2.8% market share, but lower than the 5.8% share recorded at the start of 2013.
With the onset of the Great Recession and the ongoing declines in the home-ownership rate, the share of built-for-rent homes rose. Despite the current elevated market concentration, the total number of single-family starts built-for-rent remains low in terms of the total building market. However, after falling during 2013, the market share has grown over the past year.