By Ruth Seigel
Abrupt global economic downturn caused by COVID-19 leads investors to seek refuge and diversification in opportunistic CRE asset classes growth, risk-stabilization and yield.
Phoenix, AZ – (April 16, 2020) – As the world grapples to tame the coronavirus pandemic and overturn the economic effects of this unprecedented event, commercial real estate (CRE) investors are monitoring all asset class financial positions to lessen short-term portfolio risk while augmenting investments for long-term growth. SVN | SFRhub Advisors, along with industry experts, predict ongoing consumer demand for housing will position single-family residential (SFR) rentals as an investment portfolio standout. A CRE brokerage firm, SVN | SFRhub Advisors, dedicated solely to SFR/BFR (Build-for-Rent) portfolios recorded a 650% uptick in investment activity since mid-March 2020 for SFR/BFR portfolios on their technology platform, SFRhub.com, averaging 10,000+ listed homes.
Recent data from John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) outlines CRE sectors most likely to be affected following the pandemic, especially in the short-term, are hospitality, retail and office/co-working. Conversely, JBREC states SFR (while not unscathed in the short-term) should be positioned for faster market recovery and a better long-term play. Housing rental defaults will prove painful in the short-term, but the low supply of newly built rental homes in most markets, and capital seeking safety, yield and inflation hedge, should help SFR recover earlier than other residential real estate asset classes.
“Investors have reaped financial advantages of a 10-year bullish marketplace, notably the past few years with SFR portfolios, and the newer BFR market,” said Jeff Cline, executive director and principal of SVN | SFRhub Advisors. “For the first time in U.S. history, rental household growth outpaced U.S. home ownership.” He added, “Looking ahead, consumer economic, lifestyle, and work-at-home popularity indicate global investors’ near and long-term outlook for capital growth and income opportunities in single-family detached homes for rent is better than it’s been for several years.”
BFR communities encompass single-family homes built from the ground up specifically for renters and not home owners. These homes help to fulfill the vast housing need and rental shortage occurring across the U.S. According to JBREC, recently surveyed BFR projects had a very strong 97% stabilized occupancy rate prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. homebuilders may turn to REITS, private equity and individual investors to purchase completed or near completed single-family communities for rental investment should the new home buyer market continues to retract. “For the first time, we now have several private capital group clients with tens of billions of dollars to specifically invest in the BFR space,” said Michael Finch, executive vice president of SVN | SFRhub Advisors.
Demand from millennials and older adults/retirees has destigmatized renting and touted SFRs’ benefits like increased space, yards and amenities representative of living in a single-family detached home. Skyrocketing unemployment, job uncertainty, and hefty student debt loans imply the SFR/BFR market should remain strong among millennials as home ownership moves farther out in time and remote working becomes more popular.
Cline notes, “SFR/BFR investors’ main concerns are rent revenue and occupancy. In the short-term, unemployment may impact rent rather than occupancy issues. As the economy recovers, demand for SFR/BFR will be a favorite among alternative investors with capital on the sidelines seeking refuge and stock market diversification for growth and income.”
About SVN | SFRhub Advisors
SVN | SFRhub Advisors, based in Phoenix, is an independently owned and operated SVN® office. SVN comprises over 200 offices with 1,600 advisors. SVN | SFRhub Advisors is the only national single-family residential (SFR) & Build-for-Rent (BFR) dedicated brokerage that introduced the first-to-market digital commercial real estate fully transactional platform, SFRhub.com. SFRhub.com is the only SFR/BFR industry data provider with clean and verified data. SVN | SFRhub Advisors currently features a pipeline of over $2 billion SFR/BFR investment portfolios consisting of five or more homes and is also a member of the Forbes® Real Estate Council.
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