Business Week called him the Data King of Rental Housing and the reporter who wrote the story said Wally Charnoff is “the guy who tells Wall St what they didn’t know about becoming big landlords.”  His RentRange was the first real estate data provider to concentrate on single family rentals and it’s such a unique source of SFR information that it licenses its reports to CoreLogic.  Charnoff’s knowledge of the marketplace and the players who shape it affords him an exceptional perspective on the issues facing single family rentals today.  Last week he shared with us his views on range of topics.

The Interview

There’s a belief among investors that as home prices rise in a market, single family rents will also rise.  Now that home prices are appreciating at a double digit rate, are rents rising at that rate?

I don’t think rises in rental rates are necessarily tied to rises in home prices.  You can’t really make a direct correlation between them.  Today we are seeing a lot of other market drivers that are influencing the rental market more than home prices.  You have a lot of former homeowners who still can’t quality for financing.  They want to stay in homes but they see renting as more opportune right now and they’re looking for rentals in those neighborhoods where they used to own, so they are renting a home. There are prospective buyers who can’t get financing, which is still not easy. Others don’t want to buy because they don’t think the market has hit bottom yet.   Finally, a lot of single family renters simply don’t what to become owners.

Is there a glut of single family rentals in some markets that is causing a cost advantage for rentals?

I think it’s the other way around.  I think single family rentals …read more