Rental households comprise 34% of the housing stock and are growing at the incredible rate of 1.6 million per year, while owned households are actually declining in number, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which called the increase an “incredible surge” in demand.

Only 20% of renters live in large buildings of 20 or more units, and the remaining 80% of renters live in alternative types of housing.

The single-family rental business, which is already larger than the institutional apartment business, is booming. About 55% of new renters are leasing single-family homes, while the remaining 45% are renting apartments. Never before seen levels of distressed home sales, which sit at the lowest home price/rent ratios in decades, are driving the boom, the consultancy said.

Burns said intelligent investors should take advantage of the “temporary disconnect in the market.”

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