Build-to-rent homes becoming popular in the Phoenix-area

The Phoenix-area has become one of the epicenters of a new trend in the housing market – build-to-rent developments. Developers are constructing brand new single-family homes in gated communities and renters are flocking to them.

These kinds of developments started up within the last decade. They are brand-new single-family homes with the latest technology, community pools, gyms and security.

Builders say the concept of the American dream has changed and they’re catering to a new segment of residents – those who can afford to own but prefer to rent.

"Since the last great recession, rental is not a bad word anymore. There’s a lot of people that rent and that stigma of renting is behind us," says Todd Wood, CEO of Christopher Todd Communities.

He says the new developments offer more space and privacy.

"A lot of baby boomers leaving their large homes, are empty nesters and don’t want the maintenance of yards and pools," Wood says, adding, "The Gen X and millennials like coming in because it’s a resort-style feel."

Another build-to-rent developer is Nexmetro Communities. Andy Caro is a resident and says, "We have a backyard patio which is enough privacy, we have a puppy. We give her time to run around in the back.

Caro says there are no shared walls and the worry of someone stomping around above you at 2 a.m. is no longer an issue.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, there was nearly a 30% increase of build-to-rent single-family homes from 2019 to 2020. This new market is expected to continue to expand.

Many residents say they plan to lease long term.

"We have no rush leaving, it feels as if it is a house to us. Ultimately that’s the best feeling," Caro said.

Arizona-based build-to-rent developers say they’re expanding across the country in cities like Dallas, Tampa and Denver.