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Are we becoming a rental society?

A lot of investors say yes, but analysts have another POV

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A question in the opening session of the Structured Finance Industry Group and Information Management Network ABS Vegas 2014 is “Are we becoming a rental society.”

It's a trend HousingWire is following closely.

"(The) single-family rental market is becoming a new asset class. Blackstone, Colony, Deutschebank are all investing billions," said moderator Sharif Mahdavian, managing director for Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. "So how is it affecting the mortgage environment?"

"It looks to us like a viable business," said Joseph Buonanno, a partner with Hunton & Williams. "Whether this is cyclical or temporary, or the new new thing, I think it’s probably too early to say we will change decades of history and change to a rental society."

Steven Abrahams, head of securitization and mortgage-backed securities research at Deutsche Bank Securities, says he sees this trend as an anomaly. He says the flood of capital to the rental side just reflects the withdrawal of capital from the mortgage side.

"As the population grows and rates of household formation rebound to normal, we will see a return of owner occupant capital," Abrahams said.

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