SFR East 2024: How Economics and Demographics Shape the Rental Market

IMN’s Single Family Rental Forum (East), the cornerstone gathering of the SFR industry, concluded on May 22, 2024, in Miami, FL. Over three days, 1,800 attendees listened to more than 280 speakers discuss all angles of the SFR industry. On the first day of the conference, Arbor’s Tres Seippel, Director, Construction Management, participated in a wide-ranging panel discussion examining economic and demographic forces influencing SFR and build-to-rent (BTR), which also featured Rick Dalton, President of the Dalton Group, Domonic Purviance of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Wade McGuinn, CEO of McGuinn Hybrid Homes, and Heather Williams, VP at Willow Bridge Property Company.


Affordable Housing Market Snapshot — May 2024

As housing costs spiral, rental affordability has become a more urgent issue, burdening a greater number of Americans. With more funding on the way, policymakers and private market advocates are pressing ahead with plans to add units to an increasingly tight housing market.


The Probability Renters Will Keep Renting Hits Record High

The average renter thinks there is a three-in-five chance they will still be in the rental market in 2027, according to the New York Federal Reserve’s recently released 2024 SCE Housing Survey. Compared to last year, the probability of the average renter not becoming a homeowner in the next three years was up 4.3 percentage points, reaching its highest mark since the study began in 2015.

Current Reports

Small Multifamily Investment Trends Report Q2 2024

Small multifamily’s performance continues to conform to pre-pandemic norms typically seen before the historic boom years of 2021 and 2022. In the first quarter of 2024, cap rates and asset prices both improved quarter-over-quarter, Arbor’s Small Multifamily Investment Trends Report Q2 2024, developed in partnership with Chandan Economics, has found. The subsector’s fundamental strength will support steady growth amid tight credit conditions until interest rate relief invites increased investment activity.


U.S. Multifamily Market Snapshot — May 2024

Key fundamentals of the U.S. multifamily remained strong to start 2024. Despite fears of oversupply, rent growth remained stable and vacancy rates remained near historical lows.


Arbor Marketing Campaign Wins Two Awards at Industry Gala

For more than 30 years, Arbor has been committed to building strong bonds with clients that lead to mutual success. This philosophy is at the heart of a unique Arbor marketing campaign, The Art of Growing Financial Partnerships, which received two awards at the 30th Annual Financial Communications Society (FCS) Portfolio Awards Gala in New York City on May 2. The campaign, which was featured in two private jet terminals, used original stained-glass pieces to build brand awareness among high-net-worth travelers.


Top SFR Annual Rent Growth Markets

Even as rents retreated elsewhere, single-family rentals (SFR) have continued to outperform all other housing sub-types, exceeding the all-property type national average in 17 consecutive months through February 2024, according to Zillow’s Observed Rent Index (ZORI). Annual SFR rent growth has seen substantial gains in many metropolitan areas since national rent growth peaked in March 2022. In this deep dive, the Chandan Economics and Arbor Realty Trust research teams pinpoint the metropolitan areas where SFR rents are rising the fastest.

General: 800.ARBOR.10

Q: What is the Arbor Small Multifamily Price Index (ASMPI)?
A: The ASMPI estimates the average price appreciation for small multifamily properties on a quarterly basis, by comparing small multifamily cap rates and small multifamily rents.

Q: What is an index?
A: • An index starts with an assigned base, then increases or decreases with the change in value. In the case of the ASMPI, a base value of 100.0 is assigned to Q1 2000.
• For example, if the ASMPI stood at 100, then increased 5.0% during the quarter, the new value would be 105. Likewise, if the index decreased 5.0%, the new value would be 95.
• Other frequently used indices in the real estate industry include the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Consumer Price Index.

Q: What is the purpose of the ASMPI?
A: • Given the lack of affordable rental housing supply to meet the robust demand, the index’s quarterly data provides insights on potential investment opportunities in the property sector.
• The index fills an important need in the marketplace for quarterly data analytics focused on small multifamily properties.

Q: How is the ASMPI calculated?
A: The ASMPI is calculated by comparing the historical relationship of cap rates on properties with primary mortgages between $1 million and $7.5 million, and the rental income earned on small multifamily properties (5 to 49 units).

Q: How do you define a “small multifamily property”?
A: For the purposes of the ASMPI, we define small multifamily properties as those which have 5 to 49 units. This is consistent with the distinctions made in the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Q: How do you define a “primary mortgage” on a property?
A: A primary mortgage means that at least 50% or more of the financing on the property comes from this loan. For the purposes of the ASMPI, we use Chandan Economics’ database of loans with primary mortgages of $1 million to $7.5 million.

Q: What is the formula for calculating the ASMPI?
A: Property Valuation = Net Operating Income / Cap Rate

Q: What is a cap rate?
A: A cap rate is the annual rate of return on a property, also known as the annual yield.

Q: How do you determine the cap rates for the formula?
A: Chandan Economics tracks small multifamily cap rates through its loan database and economic models consisting of small multifamily properties with primary mortgages between $1 million and $7.5 million.

Q: How do you determine the net operating income for the formula?
A: • Operating income is calculated based on Chandan Economics’ models of annual contract rents for multifamily properties with 5 to 49 units, using data published by the U.S. Census Bureau in the American Community Survey.
• Operating income is adjusted for any vacancy losses. Other forms of property income other than direct rental income are not included as part of the model.
• An assumption in the model is that variable operating expenses are passed through to tenants.

Q: What is the methodology for the ASMPI?
A: The Arbor Small Multifamily Price Index is calculated by comparing the historical relationship of cap rates and operating income. Cap rates data are sourced from Chandan Economics’ loan database and data models consisting of properties with primary mortgages between $1 million and $7.5 million. Operating income is estimated by Chandan Economics’ models of annual rents on multifamily properties with 5 to 49 units. Primary sample data used for small multifamily rents model is sourced by the U.S. Census Bureau as part of the American Community Survey.