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.

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Ivan Kaufman Talks Arbor’s Success in Multifamily During COVID-19 at NYU Capital Markets Leadership Series

Kaufman Shares Why Multifamily Has Remained a Strong Asset Despite the Global Pandemic

Ivan Kaufman, the founder, chairman and CEO of Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ABR), appeared as the first featured guest on the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Leadership Series. Defying the negative economic pressures of COVID-19, Arbor achieved strong earnings. Kaufman shared an insider’s view of what’s behind his company’s phenomenal success and forecasts for the multifamily sector’s post-coronavirus future.

“Our earnings have never been better,” Kaufman stated to the program host, Sam Chandan, dean of the Schack Institute. “Most people are cutting their dividends or trying to figure out how to maintain them. We’ve increased our dividend in the pandemic.”

Arbor’s experienced management team anticipated the recession, following a 10-year bull run. The company structured its balance sheet and its lending, positioning itself for strong performance during the economic downturn. As suggested in other recent interviews, Ivan emphasizes how the REIT has a strategically diversified business platform. This includes serving as a top Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac small multifamily lender having a more than $5 billion balance sheet, and being active in growth areas such as single-family rentals (SFRs).

With headquarters in Uniondale, New York, Arbor has had many of its employees return to the office ahead of its peers. Kaufman advised companies to exercise common sense with phased re-openings and to consider density, transportation and the effectiveness of remote working.

Despite COVID-19, multifamily has performed exceptionally well. He credited the CARES Act with enabling people to pay rent and keeping the economy afloat. Prior to the pandemic, multifamily properties experienced consistent rent increases of 3% to 5% each year, for the last decade.

Even with the coronavirus disruptions, Kaufman opined multifamily remains a solid asset class. “When you underwrite a loan and the property is 95% occupied, there is coverage. You can go down to 87% or 86% occupied before you start seeing some pain. So, we’re in good territory,” he explained. “It’ll get a little bit softer, but I think overall, we’re in an extraordinarily great place.”

He pointed out that investors can refinance with today’s low interest rates, offsetting a decline in rents and occupancy with reduced mortgage payments.

However, the head of one of the nation’s leading multifamily lenders noted Class A urban properties will suffer as COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for reduced density and millennials are moving to the suburbs to form families.

“Absorption is going to be a lot slower. That will be the soft part of the market, no question about it,” said Kaufman. “The workforce housing, the B and C, specifically Class B properties, are holding up extraordinarily well.”

In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support the multifamily market, providing liquidity and consistency in multifamily lending. During the interview, Kaufman also discusses the growth in SFR demand, additional investment opportunities, other capital sources, the CMBS market, technology and much more.

Listen to the full NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate Capital Markets Leadership Series Interview.


For more of Ivan Kaufman’s perspective on current multifamily trends, visit Arbor in the News. Contact Arbor to learn about our multifamily solutions to address your business goals.