REITWorld 2014 Panel Says Decline in Homeownership Boosting Rental Housing Market

A panel at REITWorld 2014: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT pointed to the decline in U.S. homeownership rates as a major factor supporting growth in the single-family rental business and the multifamily housing sector.

Gary Beasley, co-CEO of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust (NYSE: SWAY), said the single-family business model has developed to the point where the “economics work well. I’m convinced more and more that this is around for the long term. We’re building brands and building efficiencies.”

Timothy Naughton, chairman and CEO of AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB), pointed out that the delay in household formation is having a “profound impact” on the industry.

Naughton and Beasley also commented on the current state of the housing business cycle. Naughton described the industry as being at “mid-cycle” and added that the current cycle will be longer than past cycles. Beasley said he views the industry at “early-to-mid cycle.”

Meanwhile, Beasley said competition for assets in the single-family sector has slowed relative to 2012. “Most groups have found their footing,” he said.