More Jacksonville homes built strictly for renters

Published on June 13, 2023 at 1:14 pm

People looking to live in a single-family home in Jacksonville may find more of them built strictly to rent.

Nearly 300 single-family homes were built last year specifically for renters, more than quadrupling the number available five years ago, a new study shows.

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The 272 homes completed last year represented a 10-year high and left Jacksonville with 884 homes built to rent, according to a report from RentCafe, which publishes a blog about the rental industry.

The growth in Jacksonville mirrored a trend across the country. Renting has become more popular in recent years, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic with its emphasis on social distancing and remote work, RentCafe said.

To many people, build-to-rent homes provide the comfort and privacy of living in a home without the maintenance of a traditional home, the researchers said.

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Jacksonville ranked 14th of the top 20 metro areas for new build-to-rent homes in the last five years, the study found. For units under construction, Jacksonville ranked seventh, one spot behind Tampa. Tampa saw a 256% increase from 2017 to 2022, with 1,374 units completed — nearly 500 more than Jacksonville.

Despite the growth, home sales remain a far more common option. The number of single-family homes for sale in Northeast Florida totaled 4,540 in May, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

The build-to-rent data includes only single-family rentals in build-to-rent communities. Those houses are built specifically for long-term rental and usually are managed by large companies rather than individuals.

In 2022, 14,541 homes were built for rental across the United States, an increase of 47% from 2021. A total of 44,700 units are under construction nationwide, triple the number completed in 2022, RentCafe said.

The average size of those homes increased to about 1,361 square feet in 2022 — a 2.6% increase from the year before.

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