A deeper dive into the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design reveals a bright spot in the number of single-family homes built-for-rent (SFBFR). The SFBFR posted a small year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2020, during what has been a complicated market to work in. There were approximately 8,000 SFBFR starts during the first three months of 2020. This was a slight gain over the first quarter 2019 total of 7,000. Over the last four quarters, 40,000 such homes began construction, which is lower than the 44,000 estimated SFBFR starts for the four prior quarters. The SFBFR market share is small, when compared to the overall housing starts and permits. As a result, the quarter-to-quarter movement is not statistically noteworthy and why year-over-year stats are used.
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