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SFR Investors Are Increasingly Targeting These Markets

By Lynn Pollack

December 15, 2022

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Single-family developments are most prevalent in Florida, Texas and North Carolina.

Investors in single-family rental properties are increasingly eyeing a handful of US metros, according to an analysis by Trepp’s Jack FaForge.

Single-family rental developments are most prevalent in the South Atlantic region of the US, led by Florida, Texas and North Carolina, with nearly 45% of all properties securitized in CMBS in the Southeast region. And according to an April Trepp population trend report, five of the MSAs that posted the most population growth from 2015 to 2020 are in states where SFR properties in CMBS exceed the 27,000 threshold. (Those cities include Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, San Antonio-New Braunfels, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.)

“Mortgage rates in the US and the limited supply of homes are fueling the SFR market, specifically in regional markets where population growth is high and property taxes are low,” says LaForge. There has also been a marked increase in CRE investment in Texas, Florida, and Georgia – specifically in the multifamily sector. Florida’s CMBS issuance last year was approximately $9 billion, with $4.4 billion concentrated in the multifamily sector. Meanwhile, asking rents for multifamily units in the state were up 17.4% on a year-over-year basis.

LaForge notes that slowing rent growth poses a potential headwind for the sector, as does tax legislation in states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia that has pushed institutional investors like American Homes 4 Rent and Invitation to adjust their earnings forecast.

“The performance of the SFR market is largely dependent on rent growth and occupancy in a select number of states, opening up the sector to concentration risk,” he says. But “while it is unlikely that revenues for SFR investors in 2023 will match revenues seen in 2022, the SFR market is still offering better returns than the multifamily sector, with stubbornly high mortgage rates making homebuying unattractive.”

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