A New Look at the Characteristics of Single-Family Rentals and Their Residents

Rachel Bogardus Drew

The recent dramatic increase in the number of single-family detached rental homes, which is due in part to foreclosures of single-family homeowners and constrained lending limiting home buying option for many households, raises some questions about the residents and stock that comprise this part of the housing market. How do the characteristics of single-family renters and rental units differ from those of other housing types? Have these characteristics changed over time, and if so, is the change due to shifts in the supply and demand for single-family rentals specifically? This paper describes current and historical data on single-family rentals that may offer insights into the reasons for the growth in this segment, and indications of its future.