Key Highlights

  • RealtyTrac recent report found single-family rental (SFR) property owners in nearly half of US counties at major risk of default
  • Mom-and-pop owners at particular risk

Owners of Single-Family Rental (SFR) Properties at Major Risk of Default in 48% of US Counties

RealtyTrac’s latest Rental Property Risk Report indicates that owners of single-family rental  (SFR) properties in 48% of US counties are a major risk of defaulting on their properties.

Mom-and-Pop Owners Particularly Vulnerable

The overwhelming majority, some 90%, of owners of single-family rental properties are mom-and-pop owners.  These most-at-risk-of-default owner, have fewer than 10 rental properties.  When their tenants struggle to pay the rent, if they’re able to pay at all, mom-and-pop owners are stuck.

Many mom-and-pop SFR owners have lower incomes to begin with.   Plus, some were priced out of the market even before the pandemic, according to RealtyTrac.

 Economic Impacts of Pandemic Almost Circular

 COVID-impacted industries such as tourism, hospitality, entertainment, and the arts, hit the most COVID-affected workers.  Many of these COVID- affected workers were/are renters who couldn’t afford to pay their rent in the first place, pre-pandemic.  Those COVID-affected workers/renters then impacted now COVID-affected landlords. Additionally, SFR owners in cities with high student populations, think Boston, have been COVID-affected.

Counties Most COVID-Affected with Highest Percentage of Single-Family Rental Propertie

County            State%  SFR Properties   Risk Score

Mohave AZ            78.68                        77.2

New York NY          51.76                        70.6

Kern CA                 58.98                        70.1

Horry SC                64.76                        67.2

Collier FL                75.85                        64.8

Polk FL                   54.19                        64.8

Philadelphia PA        36.55                        63.3

Lee FL                     60.13                        61.5

El Paso TX               48.81                        61.2

Wayne MI                42.85                        61.2

Concerted Effort Needed to Protect At-Risk Landlords

Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s executive vice president, said, “Federal, state and local governments have responded (to COVID-affected workers and renters) by enacting eviction bans to protect tenants, but in doing so have inadvertently put many landlords are risk…there needs to be a concerted effort to backstop the landlords as well, or numerous counties across the country are going to see rising levels of foreclosures on rental properties and needless financial distress.

Thanks to RealtyTrac, ATTOM Data Solutions, US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inman.