Home Industry News John Burns: Understanding the Single-Family Renter

John Burns: Understanding the Single-Family Renter

By Mikaela Sharp, Research Analyst, and Chris Porter, Chief Demographer

Single-family home renters earn more money, have more kids, and are more likely to be married than multifamily renters.

Single Family Renter, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, Seattle, Puget SoundComparing the 16 million single-family renter households to the 28 million multifamily rental households:

  • Higher income. At $42,600, they earn 31% more per year than the $32,400 multifamily renters earn.
  • More families. 52% have kids, compared to only 30% of multifamily renters, who are far more likely to be under 35 or over 65. 58% of single-family rental households are headed by 35–64-year-olds, compared to only 46% of multifamily rental households.
  • More likely to be married. 38% are married, compared to only 21% of multifamily renters.

We have been fortunate enough to work with all five of the largest single-family rental landlords in the country, who have helped us understand this important component of the housing population—now reaching almost 13% of all households.

Lifestyle drives much of the preference between renting a single-family home or an apartment. Single-family renters tend to prefer a yard for kids and pets, and good school districts. They also prefer more privacy from their neighbors.

Many single-family renters would like to own some day but have not yet saved the down payment, have poor credit, or want more flexibility to move in the future.

For more information on rental trends, see Chapter 8 in our book Big Shifts Ahead or feel free to contact me any time at (949) 870-1218.