Demand for Single-Family Rentals Decreased During Coronavirus Stay-at-Home Orders

David Deem

April saw decreases in demand for single-family rentals, likely due to stay-at-home mandates put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI) from CoreLogic. The national rent increased 2.4 percent YoY in April, down from a 2.9 percent YoY increase at the same time last year.

Despite the slowdown, however, CoreLogic reports that rent increases in the lower tier of prices helped prop up national rent price growth. Rent prices at less than 75 percent of the regional median increased 3.1 percent YoY in April, down from 3.6 percent at the same time last year. At the higher price points (rents greater than 125 percent of a region's median rent), prices increased 2.3 percent in April 2020, down from a 2.4 percent gain last year.
Phoenix had the highest YoY increases in single-family rents (6.6. percent). And Tucson, Ariz., experienced the second-highest rent price growth this past April, up 3.7 percent. Next? Charlotte, N.C., with a 3.4 percent growth. St. Louis was the only metro with an annual decline in rent prices, according to CoreLogic, dropping 0.1 percent in April.
"As the pandemic-induced recession took hold in April, the single-family rent index posted its lowest growth rate in over nine years," said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. "While disruptions in the economy affect all parts of the housing market, the impact can often be seen in the rental market sooner than the for-sale market. This means changes in rents can foreshadow changes in home prices."



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