Single-Family Rental Survey | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

Single-Family Rental Survey

JBREC/NRHC Single-Family Rental Survey 4Q21: Single-Family Rental Market Index Still in Expansion

The overall Single-Family Rental Market Index (SFRMI) cooled slightly to 72 in 4Q21. While down YOY, the index remained up from 66 in 4Q19. 

This quarterly index and survey of single-family rental operators is a partnership between John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) and The National Rental Home Council (NRHC).

JBREC research clients receive monthly SFR market updates, including visibility on new lease rent growth, forecasts, and occupancy trends. In addition, research clients can access our SFR Burns Interactive Dashboards to analyze, compare, and rank the 63 largest SFR markets in the country while drilling deeper into housing information.


Our 4Q21 Single-Family Rental Survey shows:

  • Single-family rents continue to climb, with blended same-store rent growth nearly doubling YOY, rising to 9% in 4Q21, unchanged from 3Q21.
    • Same-store new lease rent growth dipped slightly QOQ to 12.6%, and renewal rent growth remained flat from 3Q21, at 8.0%.
  • National median single-family rent also rose, climbing to $1,898, according to operators we survey, who skew towards higher price points.
  • Lease-up times remain generally the same compared to one year ago, which is not a bad thing given the incredibly tight market over the last 12–18 months.
    • In 4Q21, 79% of operators nationally indicate vacant properties are taking the same or less time to lease than one year ago, slightly down from 85% in 3Q21.
      • 22% of operators nationally indicate vacant properties are taking more time to lease than one year ago, rising slightly from 15% in 3Q21.
      • Multiple larger operators (over 100 rentals in a metro) report more time on the market compared to one year ago in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Antonio. 
  • Single-family rental operators are shifting acquisition methods towards new homes. The Question of the Quarter asked operators about how they are growing their portfolios. We learned that:
    • One-off resale homes accounted for 57% of acquisitions, roughly unchanged from 58% in 4Q20, but down significantly from 81% in 3Q19.
    • 26% of portfolio growth came from new homes (purchased from builders or self-constructed), rising from 11% in 4Q20 and up sharply from just 3% in 3Q19.
    • “No acquisitions” accounts for 13% of the distribution, likely due to low new and resale inventory, up from 7% one year ago, and 0% in 3Q19. 
This proprietary survey measures the overall health and sentiment of national single-family rental markets. We conducted the quarterly survey in 4Q 2021.
The 4Q21 survey results include 212 market ratings from professionally managed single-family rental operators who collectively manage 227K properties in 53 US metropolitan areas.

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If you would like to participate in future surveys, please contact Devyn Bachman at

SFRMI Methodology

The Single-Family Rental Market Index (SFRMI) is a diffusion index comparing weighted responses of operators on three key aspects of their business (below/above 50 = contracting/expanding):

  • Current leasing activity
  • Expected leasing activity in the next six months
  • Occupancy of their same-store portfolio1 compared to one year ago

The Single Family Rental Survey asks operators to rate current leasing activity and expected leasing activity in the next six months as either Very Strong, Strong, Normal/Average, Weak, or Very Weak. Operators also rate the occupancy of their same-store portfolio compared to one year ago as Higher, the Same, or Lower.

1Same-store store portfolio includes only homes that have undergone initial rehab or were stabilized (i.e. initial rehab completed) 90 days prior to the beginning of the corresponding period in the prior year; excludes properties held for sale.

About The National Home Council

The National Rental Home Council (NRHC) is the trade association dedicated to advocating on behalf of the 16 million home single-family rental industry and its residents. The NRHC supports efforts to strengthen neighborhoods by filling an important need in today’s growing rental housing market.

About John Burns Real Estate Consulting

John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) is an independent research provider and consulting firm focused on the housing industry. John Burns founded the company in 2001 because he saw a need for better analysis on the housing market. The company has grown to a highly passionate team of research analysts and consultants in offices across the country, who work together to provide the most trusted source of US housing analysis. John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s research subscribers receive the most accurate analysis possible to inform their macro investment decisions, and the company’s consulting clients receive specific property and portfolio investment advice designed to maximize profits.

Jody Kahn If you have any questions about the Single-Family Rental Market Index, please contact Jody Kahn, Senior Vice President at
Devyn Bachman If you have any questions about the Single-Family Rental Market Index, please contact Devyn Bachman, Senior Vice President at