Developers are building neighborhoods just for renters

Within the lakeside group of Flowery Department, Georgia, 45 miles northeast of Atlanta, a brand new neighborhood known as Beacon Lake Lanier is taking form. It’s the sort of spacious suburban house discovered on the periphery of many U.S. cities, with curving roads and about 200 three-, four- and five-bedroom homes, every with its personal fenced yard. It’s an image of the American Dream, the sort of properties that individuals think about shopping for and elevating households in.

However when the primary residents transfer in later this 12 months, it’s not the American Dream they’ll be fulfilling, however a brand new American actuality. The only-family properties at Beacon Lake Lanier are being constructed particularly for renters.

The only-family rental house is a quickly rising piece of the rental housing market in america, and builders are starting to note. An analysis from final August by RCLCO Actual Property Advisors discovered that an estimated 6% of latest single-family properties are purpose-built for lease in america, and add as much as a complete of round 15 million properties. Demographic tendencies, together with the forming of households among the many 24- to 39-year-old age group, means demand for these properties is anticipated to develop for the following decade.


“As millennials have moved effectively into the household formation years, there’s demand for a special sort of product. And the power to afford a for-sale residence that gives extra areas isn’t obtainable to everybody,” says Todd LaRue, managing director of RCLCO.

RangeWater, the developer of the properties in Flowery Department, is making an aggressive entry into this rising market. With an $800 million funding, the corporate might be building 15 single-family rental neighborhoods just like Beacon Lake Lanier in suburban areas throughout the Solar Belt over the following 18 months. Whereas most single-family rental properties are owned by mom-and-pop operators, larger gamers like RangeWater and institutional traders are starting to signify an even bigger a part of a comparatively underexplored sector.

For RangeWater, it’s just an outgrowth of market demand the corporate is already seeing. Based in 2006, the corporate owns and operates condominium complexes in 10 states, totaling greater than 50,000 housing models. CEO Steven Shores says a rising variety of residents in these condominium complexes are keen for more room, particularly these within the Millennial age group.

“We’ve observed that our demographic that has been our renter for the previous 10 to fifteen years, that though they just like the rental way of life and so they like dwelling in a rental group, their wants have modified and so they want more room,” Shores says.

What the corporate is providing is the expertise of dwelling in a home with out the costly downpayment and mortgage, and with the power to lock in a lease for solely a 12 months or two. However Shores says that whereas the properties function like rental properties, the corporate’s strategy to neighborhood-scale growth and administration means they gained’t essentially appear to be leases.

“On the floor, they’re not going to look too terribly totally different than a single household residence neighborhood, and that’s actually by design,” Shores says. “We would like them to really feel very very similar to single-family neighborhoods.”

Which may imply the standard indicators of a suburban neighborhood – driveway automotive washing on the weekends, a night grill session within the yard – however don’t count on to see the neighbors mowing lawns, or neglecting to. Upkeep within the neighborhood, together with entrance yard landscaping, is dealt with by RangeWater.


“In a standard single-family neighborhood with a bunch of various house owners and individuals who might have totally different concepts about how their lawns and their exteriors ought to look and whether or not they need to plant flowers or not,” he says. “We’ll deal with all of that so there’ll be a consistency and a degree of high quality that we’ll keep.”

The corporate will even tackle the opposite extra critical hallmarks of homeownership – the upkeep and restore of the homes themselves. “The continuing upkeep of homes just isn’t low cost and lots of people just don’t like coping with the trouble of damaged water heaters or clogged pipes or leaky roofs or issues like that,” Shores says.

A method the design of RangeWater’s single-family rental neighborhoods might differ from a typical home-owner neighborhood is the addition of condominium complex-style facilities. Shores says that can seemingly embody swimming pools, pavilions, and neighborhood clubhouses.

Beacon Lake Lanier just isn’t the corporate’s first enterprise within the single-family rental neighborhood. RangeWater started testing the idea in 2019, with two built-to-rent townhouse communities in Atlanta and Boulder. Shores says the corporate sees big potential for progress, and so they’re not alone. In partnership with a single investor, which Shores isn’t in a position to identify, the corporate has raised $250 million in funding that can assist finance the roughly $800 million price of single-family residence neighborhoods RangeWater is now planning and building. “There’s some huge cash that’s inquisitive about being on this sector, and we have now quite a few long-term companions who’ve been inquisitive about doing this,” Shores says.

He says additional investments are seemingly, and expects single-family leases to finally make up a few quarter of the corporate’s enterprise. However that doesn’t imply the top of residences.

“Now we have been an condominium firm endlessly and can proceed to be,” he says. “However what I believe single-family rental will turn into is an more and more bigger share of what we do.”

LaRue of RCLCO says there are some challenges to building these sorts of tasks, together with the price of building, the price of land, and NIMBY opposition. “There are communities that are towards the sort of product as a result of they just don’t perceive it,” LaRue says. “So there are a few of these issues that would impression the sector’s progress.”

However he does count on it to develop, and for extra institutional traders to get into the development of those built-to-rent developments. “There’s lots of capital going into this. And people demographic tailwinds are a giant driver of it over the following 10 years,” LaRue says. “We count on it to proceed.”