Single-Family Home Rental: A Sign of the Economic Times

The American Dream of the single-family homeowner—nuclear family, a mortgage, and maybe a white picket fence—is being turned on its head by two consequences of the Great Recession: lack of demand for home purchases and a glut of unoccupied single-family houses. On the demand side are former homeowners who are unable or unwilling to return to homeownership and Millennial households which might have been first-time homebuyers except for student debt burdens, stagnant wage growth, or a taste for a more urban lifestyle. At the same time, there’s the supply of millions of unsold single-family houses that are a drag on their communities. These two forces collide in the form of Single Family Rental (SFR) homes—a new mashup of the American Dream for the 21st Century.