What Is Driving Lifestyle Renter Demand?

Lifestyle renters — those who have the means to own but prefer to rent or are willing to pay more for apartments with amenities — have become a key driver of rental demand in single-family rental homes, build-to-rent communities, and other types of high-quality multifamily housing. With this small yet influential demographic growing, our research teams examine and explain the factors driving lifestyle renter demand.


Build-to-Rent Well-Positioned to Fill Housing Market Gap

With nearly one-fifth of multifamily properties now over 65 years old, it’s time to consider solutions for rejuvenating the rental housing stock in the U.S. While building rehabs are a tried-and-true solution, build-to-rent (BTR) is an alternative that is well-positioned to expand as Americans increasingly favor renting over homeownership.


U.S. Added 514,000 New Rental Households in 2023

In a year when inflation and elevated interest rates weakened affordability, the rental housing sector strengthened and expanded. An analysis of newly released U.S. Census Bureau Housing Vacancies and Homeownership data shows the number of rental households climbed in 2023.

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Build-to-Rent Construction Starts Surge to New High in 2023

Over the last decade, single-family rental (SFR) operators have been increasingly focusing on build-to-rent (BTR) development as the needs and preferences of renters have shifted. As explored in the latest Arbor Single-Family Rental Investment Trends Report, SFR/BTR development has surged at a time when new, for-sale, single-family home starts have declined.

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Green Advantage®

The Freddie Mac Green Advantage® suite of offerings includes Green Up®, Green Up Plus®, Green Retrofits, Green Certified or Green Rebate. These financing programs reward borrowers who improve their properties to reduce their energy and/or water usage by 30% or those who already have green-certified properties and are looking for new financing. Green Advantage works with Freddie Mac Conventional and Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH) cash preservation products.

Green Assessment®

  • Straightforward property analysis to show borrowers how they can save energy and/or water by making property improvements
  • Reimbursements of up to $4,000 of the cost of the report when the borrower closes a Freddie Mac loan
Eligible Loans
  • Conventional and TAH cash preservation (excludes SBL, Seniors, MHCs and supplementals)
  • 7- or 10-year fixed- or floating-rate Freddie Mac Multifamily Optigo® loans

Green Assessment Plus®

  • Highly detailed property analysis based on an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit
  • Reimbursements of up to $4,000 of the cost of the report when the borrower closes a Freddie Mac loan
Eligible Loans
  • Conventional and TAH cash preservation (excludes SBL, Seniors, MHCs and supplementals)
  • 7- or 10-year fixed- or floating-rate Freddie Mac Multifamily Optigo® loans

Green Up® and Green Up Plus®

Minimum Projected Consumption Reduction 30% of energy or water/sewer consumption for Consumption Reduction the whole property, with a minimum of 15% from energy based on Green Assessment.
Benchmarking Data Collection Require borrowers to engage a third-party data collection consultant prior to the origination of the loan to collect, input and monitor actual energy and water usage through the term of the loan.
Required Third-Party Reports
  • Green Up loans:
    Green Assessment
  • Green Up Plus loans:
    Green Assessment Plus

Green Retrofit

This feature is for deeply affordable properties with energy- and/or water-efficiency improvements already made within the current calendar year or the preceding previous two calendar years from when the borrower completes
Form 1209: Green Retrofits Certification.
Eligible Loans Conventional and TAH cash preservation (excludes SBL, Seniors, Student MHCs and supplementals)
Terms 10-year fixed
Requirements Affordability Test required — eligible properties need to have at least 20% of units affordable at 60% AMI
DCR/LTV Must meet policy compliant DCR/LTV; no adjustment
Time to Complete Green Improvements Two years
Escrow Requirements Funds for energy/water efficiency work will be escrowed at 125% of cost and released as work is completed.

Green Certified

Eligible Loans Discounted loan pricing for 10-year fixed-rate loans if at least 40% of the property’s units are affordable at workforce housing levels.

They must have an industry-standard green building certification:

  • EarthCraft, Southface
  • ENERGY STAR® for Multifamily Existing Building, High Rise, New Construction, EPA
  • Green Communities, Enterprise Community Partners
  • Green Globes, Green Building Initiative
  • GreenPoint Rated, Build It Green
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), US Green Building Council
  • National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Home Innovation Research Labs
  • Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified
  • Passive House Institute (PHI) Certified

Green Rebate

If your borrower does not choose any of the above Green Advantage® options, a $5,000 rebate may be available for a borrower reporting an EPA ENERGY STAR® score.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Financing Consent

  • Can grant consent for Commercial PACE financing from qualifying Commercial PACE programs on loans in Freddie Mac’s retained portfolio.
  • Additional requirements may apply.


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