The US is short on homes. Here’s how builders are still offering the American Dream

Washington, DC

America is in the middle of a housing crisis. There are only 1.08 million existing homes on the market, and the affordability of a single-family home is at its lowest level in several decades. One bid to close the estimated 3.8 million unit deficit in housing is by building new, single-family homes — but some are not for sale, they’re for rent.

This relatively new and growing segment of the housing market is called “build for rent” or BFR (or “build to rent” or BTR). Often constructed in suburban areas with low crime and near good schools, BFR homes attract those who want the lifestyle of a house — but the affordability or convenience of renting.

With an average rent of a BFR home at $2,039 a month, BFR properties are located mainly in the Sun Belt, including Texas, California, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia, according to data from the National Rental Home Council and Yardi Matrix.

“What is driving the growth of BFR is the affordability problem,” said David Howard, CEO of the National Rental Home Council, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the single-family rental home industry. “With interest rates at levels we haven’t seen in y …

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