From large metro regions like Los Angeles, to smaller markets like Baytown, Texas, investors across the nation can now readily identify investments with renovation opportunities to those with new developments or high forecasted value growth, the study determined.

The best markets for single-family rental investors

According to the report, the top 10 metro areas, in descending order, with the most upside for the single-family rental investors are:

  • Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana
  • Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue
  • San Diego, Carlsbad, San Marcos
  • Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown
  • Columbus
  • Cincinnati, Middletown
  • Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord
  • Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario
  • Pittsburgh
  • Cleveland, Elyria, Mentor

Industry official details intense state of competition

In a separate interview, Michael Lucarelli, CEO of RentSpree, described the scenario that has created such competition: “The main thing here is to look at the for sale as a starting point because a lot of people now are in no man’s land, so to speak, when it comes to people still waiting to purchase homes,” Lucarelli told Mortgage Professional America. “What we saw during the pandemic, and even in the tail end of it, was those really low interest rates crept up and now they’re over 7% roughly, depending on what area that you’re in. This is creating a lot of barriers for people to purchase homes this year. That said, though, for this year as we go forward, we will see swinging a little bit more in favor of buyers where you’re going to start to see not necessarily a huge decrease in for sale prices but a leveling out. So, it will open things up a little bit.”

The tumult in the industry has already made an impact as illustrated by a number of high-profile layoffs at various companies, Lucarelli noted. As an example, he pointed to last week’s announcement by Compass of its plans to implement another round of layoffs. The brokerage firm did not say how many workers would be affected by the layoffs, but an SEC filing detailed the reduction would incur some $10 million to $12 million in severance costs – which is just under the $16 million incurred when it laid off 450 employees last June, as reported by the Real Deal.

Lucarelli pointed to another round of layoffs at Re/Max, which announced it would cut 17% of its staff, or 120 employees, this past July.