Who is the Single-Family Build-to-Rent Consumer?

By Leah Draffen

In a housing market with high prices and hiked mortgage rates, it is presumed that priced out millennials are largely the target market for build-to-rent single family homes. According to the annual Zonda millennial survey, respondents reported that affordability is the main reason they have not purchased a home.

During a panel discussion between Tim Sullivan, senior managing principal at Zonda Advisory, Jacque Petroulakis, executive vice president marketing and investor relations at NexMetro Communities, and Jillian Anderson, president at Elmington Property Management, there seems to be more ages and stages, in addition to millennials, who want to rent a new, single-family home.

“Affordability on the for-sale side doesn’t look like it is getting better anytime soon. What that means for us on the rental side of the world is more opportunity. The key is, how do we decode that when we do an analysis of a site? There is a whole series of things that we ask, but, really, it has nothing to do with product. It has to do with the consumer,” Sullivan said during the conversation at the 2022 Multifamily Executive Conference at the end of September.

Knowing the target customer, what they are willing to pay for, and what amenities are truly meaningful to them is key as the sector continues to expand and a consistent product needs to be built to minimize costs. These points continuously tie back to who the fundamental customer is. Revealing that the BTR consumer generally has a higher household income, Anderson and Petroulakis further outlined who these renters are.

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