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A new report focused on the more than 34% of the population that rents their homes shows that more than half would prefer to live in a detached, single-family home rather than an apartment building. The information, provided by RCLCO Real Estate Consulting, shows that approximately 6.9% of new single-family home starts were Build-for-Rent in 2022, a share the consultancy says is increasing upwards.


“While we have seen a significant building boom in the multifamily sector (particularly the luxury market) over the past two decades, rental demand has been increasing since the economy reopened in 2021,” said Gregg Logan, Managing Director of RCLCO. “The survey indicates that there is also a potential unmet demand for single-family rentals.”


While only 40% of respondents in RCLCO’s renter survey currently live in a single family detached unit or a townhouse, 51% say their ideal rental unit type is a single-family home and 21% prefer a townhouse or duplex – 72% overall. The survey also showed that62% of renters who are 55+ prefer either an age-restricted or an age-targeted community, with many mature renters as neighbors.


Closets and kitchens have the most impact in terms of a modern multifamily renter’s willingness to pay more for a luxury unit, according to the survey. The consultants found that finish preferences did not vary dramatically across groups, even for those with higher income levels.


“For developers targeting family renters, it may make sense to forgo development dollars spent on a business center, dog wash, and media/game room – as those ranked lowest on this segment’s priority list,” the company said in a release.