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Insurance Broker | 2 min read

2021 State of the Rental Housing Market

In 2020, we experienced a global pandemic, nation-wide lockdowns that kept us at home for months, transitioning to work-from-home and eLearning, growing economic uncertainty, moratoriums on evictions, historically low interest rates for housing, an outbound migration from urban centers, and shifting generational preferences. Taken all together, this has been one of the most disruptive periods the rental real estate market has seen since the housing market crash of 2008.

As a real estate investor focused on growing your residential portfolio and bottom line, it is critical to understand the contributing factors driving the real estate market, so we developed a comprehensive research brief to provide investors with the information they need to know. This brief includes information on:

  • The effects of the pandemic on the rental market
  • Shifting generational preferences
  • State of the economy in 2021
  • What this means for property investors in 2021 and beyond
  • How to protect your real estate portfolio

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Rental Market

COVID-19-related disruptions rocked the rental market in 2020, and we are still feeling the effects this year. For one thing, the rental process went digital. From viewing properties via webcam and eSigning lease documents, to utilizing online payment platforms, the industry displayed a remarkable ability to adapt when safety concerns over the pandemic forced us to shift away from face-to-face interactions. Other effects impacting the current rental market include:

Working Remotely Encourages People to Rethink Their Housing Priorities

The nationwide stay-at-home orders put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 caused businesses across the country to transition to operating remotely— and this trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. According to research and advisory firm, Gartner, more than 82% of company leaders surveyed said their organizations plan to permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time upon reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Call out: Renting activity was 10% slower in 2020, with a shorter rental season that started with a two-month delay.]

Not having to go into the office every day has caused people to rethink their housing priorities. When you have two people working from home—not to mention kids attending school remotely in the same living environment—things tend to get crowded quickly. Making due without a home office or yard to enjoy time outdoors became much harder last year. This, combined with historically low interest rates for housing prompted many renters to become first-time homebuyers in 2020.

This is just a snippet of the information featured in the full-length Research Brief. This must-read resource includes qualitative information that you can leverage to help you make sound investment-related decisions. Click here to download your copy of the 2021 State of the Rental Housing Market Research Brief.

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Mike Karageorge

As Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing within SWBC’s Insurance Services division, Mike Karageorge oversees marketing efforts focusing on sales and growth. Before joining SWBC, Mike spent over 20 years as a sales and marketing executive within the wireless communications industry, including 12 years at Sprint. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA.

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