How Large is the U.S. Multifamily Rental Market?

Newly-released Census data provides some clarity to the size of the multifamily rental market and how its size compares to other types of housing in the U.S.

Note that vacant units are not included. The Census calculated a total of 17.0 million vacant homes in 2018, including second homes.

Multifamily housing of all types (rented and owned) totaled 31.4 million units and represented 25.8% of the total housing stock of 122 million units in 2018.

Of the 31.4 million units, 27.2 million (86.5%) were known to be renter-occupied units.

The rental multifamily housing total represented 22.4% of all occupied housing in the U.S.

Very small multifamily properties—the 2-to-9 unit category—had a surprisingly high total of renter-occupied units of 12.7 million units.

The data confirmed the enormity of single-family rental market. At 14.7 million units, it was still smaller than rental multifamily, but single-family rentals represented 12.1% of the total.

Single-family owner-occupied housing still dominates the U.S. housing landscape at 68.6 million occupied units and 56.4% of the 2018 total.

By Jeanette Rice, Americas Head of Multifamily Research, CBRE.