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Forget Luxury Apartments; the Hottest Rentals Are Single-Family Homes

The number of house rentals jumped 31% from 2006 to 2017, according to a recent RENTCafé report. Many of "these people who are renting single-family homes cannot afford to buy homes." Often these ex-homeowners couldn't afford to buy again, or they didn't have good enough credit or were just reluctant to make the commitment again. Some cities have seen much larger rises in the number of house rentals than others. In Phoenix, single-family rentals shot up 77%, from 56,900 in 2007 to 100,800 in 2016, according to the report. “It’s a great alternative to apartment living and homeownership," says Mark Wolf, CEO and founder of AHV Communities, which builds communities of detached, single-family homes in the suburbs. Despite the popularity of these rental homes, nationally their rise is beginning to slow from the heyday of 2008 to 2014. House rentals were essentially flat, rising only 0.5% year over year in 2016, according to the most recent data available. That's because there aren't too many companies out there like AHV Communities building these kinds of homes. “Now that the prices are going back up, it doesn’t make much sense any more to buy [houses] at a lower price and rent them out," Balint says.