The Biggest Landlords of Single-Family Rental Houses and Multifamily Apartments: Who Owns the US Housing Stock?

80% of single-family rentals are mom-and-pop; mega-landlords own just 3%. But mega-landlords dominate multifamily rentals.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

There has been a lot of talk about corporate mega-landlords buying up single-family houses one by one in massive numbers, outbidding overwhelmed homebuyers at every twist and turn.

But that’s just not the case. The landlords that own 80% of the single-family rental houses are mom-and-pop investors.

So we look at some basic data on who owns the single-family rental houses and the multifamily rental apartments.

While at it, we’ll look at the largest single-family landlords and multifamily landlords; and how PE firm and asset manager Blackstone is trying to fit back in, after it had exited the business.

Who owns the single-family rental houses in the US:

There are 146 million housing units in the US:

  • 91% (132 million) are occupied
  • 9% (14 million) are vacant.

Of the 14 million vacant housing units:

  • 56% (8 million) are single-family houses, attached and detached.
  • 34% (5 million) are apartments
  • 10% (1 million) are mobile homes, boats, etc.

Of the 132 million occupied housing units:

  • 66% (87 million) are occupied by owners (single-family houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses)
  • 34% (45 million) are owned by landlords and occupied by renters.

Of the 45 million rented housing units:

  • 65% (29 million) are apartments in multifamily buildings.
  • 31% (14 million) are single-family houses, attached and detached.
  • 4% (2 million) are mobile homes, boats, etc.

Of the 14 million single-family rentals (attached and detached houses):

  • 80% (11.2 million houses) are owned by mom-and-pop landlords with 1-9 rentals
  • 14% (1.96 million houses) are owned by landlords with 10-99 units
  • 3% are owned by landlords with 100-999 units
  • 3% (around 400,000 houses) are owned by a handful of huge landlords with 1,000+ units each.

The data for the above comes from John Burns Research & Consulting, based on its aggregation of public records data and Census Bureau data.

The largest single-family rental landlords in the US:

  • Progress Residential (about 85,000 houses), a privately-held company.
  • Invitation Homes (about 80,000 houses), a publicly traded REIT [INVH]. The company was formed by Blackstone during the Housing Bust in 2012 and later spun off to the public. Blackstone sold is last shares in 2019.
  • American Homes 4 Rent (about 60,000 houses), a publicly traded REIT [AMH]. The company was founded during the Housing Bust in 2012, and was spun off via IPO in 2013. In 2016, it merged with American Residential Properties. At the time, AMH owned 39,000 houses, and American Residential owned 9,000. Combined, it became the largest landlord at the time.
  • FirstKey Homes (about 50,000 houses), privately-held company.
  • Blackstone got back into single-family rentals by acquiring other big landlords. In 2021, it acquired Home Partners of America with 17,000 rental houses. In January 2024, Blackstone announced it would acquire Tricon Residential, a publicly traded Canadian company [TCN], with about 38,000 houses in the US and multifamily apartments in Canada. When the Tricon deal closes, Blackstone will once again be one of the biggest single-family rental players. Blackstone is not acquiring individual houses.

These five companies combined own about 330,000 single-family rentals, or about 2.4% of all single-family rentals, and about 0.3% of the 95 million single-family houses in the US (occupied and unoccupied, attached and detached).

The largest multifamily rental landlords in the US.

There are 34 million rental apartments in the US, of which about 29 million are occupied. The larger properties are mostly owned by larger landlords, given the size of the investment. And there are many very large multifamily landlords.

Blackstone announced last week that it would acquire a publicly traded multifamily REIT, Apartment Income REIT, or Air Communities, which owns about 22,000 apartments, for $10 billion. But even with this big $10-billion acquisition, Blackstone will be just a small-ish player among the giants.

The largest players in the apartment rental business (data via the NMHC):

  1. MAA (100,000 apartments)
  2. Greystar Real Estate Partners (100,000 apartments)
  3. Morgan Properties (94,000 apartments)
  4. AvalonBay Communities (80,000 apartments)
  5. Equity Residential (80,000 apartments)
  6. Cortland (77,000 apartments)
  7. Nuveen Real Estate (about 73,000 apartments)
  8. Monarch Investment & Management Group (67,000 apartments)
  9. The Related Companies (71,000 apartments)
  10. Edward Rose Building Enterprise (70,000 apartments).

Etc. etc.

The #50 on this list, Northland, owns about 27,000 apartments. Apartment Income REIT, which Blackstone is acquiring, with its 22,000 owned apartments, is not among the top 50.

The top 50 companies combined own 2.4 million apartments, or about 48,500 apartments per company on average each. The top 50 combined own about 7.1% of all rental apartments.

And who is on the hook for multifamily CRE mortgages? #1 Taxpayers, far ahead of #2 Banks!

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  170 comments for “The Biggest Landlords of Single-Family Rental Houses and Multifamily Apartments: Who Owns the US Housing Stock?

  1. ApartmentInvestor says:

    Wolf writes:

    > But even with this big acquisition,
    > Blackstone will be just a small-sh player.

    Saying that someone near the top 50 biggest owners in the US with over 20K apartment units is a “small-sh player” is like saying that Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs (#54 on the Forbes 400) with an over $5 Billion dollar net worth has a “small-sh” net worth…

    • Wolf Richter says:

      OK, but with 22,000 owned apartments, they’re about 1/5th the size of the top two.

      The further down the list you go, the closer together they are. Between #45 and #50, the bottom six landlords on the list, is a difference of just 1,100 units, between 27,700 and 26,600, each just 100 to 200 units from the next. #1 and #6 were 23,000 units apart. So there are lots of landlords between 26,600 and 22,000. If Blackstone is #100 or whatever, they’re not anywhere near the top.

      • CCCB says:

        I guess all those commenters who are always complaining about the big bad corporate landlords that are the cause of all homelessness in America are more ignorant than I thought… or just permanent whiners.

        And I’d venture to guess that if there was a survey of how many of the 45 million renters are happy renting, it would be a whole bunch of them. Owning property is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility and a big liability, regardless of whether you occupy it or rent it out. A lot of people simply don’t want to be owners.

        • MM says:

          Some people just love to hate landlords.

        • danf51 says:

          I know many people who prefer to rent, but hate renting from corporate landlords and will pay a bit of a premium to rent from an individual.

          People dont hate renting from a corporation because of any ideology but because put process over everything else. The individuals responsible for the property often have very little discretion when it comes to fixing things or accommodating renters in any way.

          No doubt renters can also find themselves unhappy with mom-and-pop landlords, but even then they prefer having an actual human being to deal with.

          When it comes right down too it, I wonder if the rental business is even that big of a money maker for a corporate unless they are operating in a tight market.

      • Petunia says:

        What percentage of their rentals are section 8? Asking for a friend.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          About 2.1 million renters across the US live in section 8 apartments, out of 29 million occupied rental apartments, so about 7%. Lots of landlords skew to higher end apartments for well-to-do renters because that’s where the money is, and they don’t have low-income renters. Other landlords specialize at the lower end with older often rundown units.

          What Blackstone bought was a landlord skewing to the high end, in the Eastern and Western coastal markets.

  2. Glen says:

    While recognizing that there are those who like and choose to rent, to me it doesn’t matter whether it is a mom and pop or a corporation who are utilizing their wealth to prevent somebody from accumulating wealth(if it can be considered that since most people need a place to live) and own a house if they want. A family member of mine rents out a house in the Bay Area to the same family and if they could have purchased instead of rented they would have 75% equity instead of squat. 40 acres and a mule never happened so access to owning land has never been equitable nor will it given especially the 2008-2009 crisis and the recent spike in housing prices.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “…whether it is a mom and pop or a corporation who are utilizing their wealth to prevent somebody from accumulating wealth”

      LOL. What is this silly BS? They’re not “preventing” anyone from doing anything. They’re providing a service for which there is a lot of demand, and they’re investing and taking risks to provide that service.

      • cas127 says:

        You’re right, Wolf.

        But zoning density/building restrictions didn’t come from God on Tablets, interest rate manipulation turning home prices into a leveraged casino wasn’t some natural process, and large-scale job siting decisions tend to be made by a handful of people.

        All of these actions had consequences (and in the longer term, responses/blowback…but that has been a slow, slow process of adjustment to the earlier distortions).

        There have been plenty of artificial influences on the market and to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous.

        • CCCB says:

          cas127, the problem isn’t the casinos, it’s all the players addicted to gambling. If the players stop playing – chasing overpriced homes hoping for a lucky payout – the casino closes. Stop blaming the fed for trying to wean the gamblers off their drugs – stock market, housing, gold, bitcoin gambling etc.

          People need to go back to earning their money the old fashioned way – either win the lucky sperm lotto or go to work and stop playing the asset gamble game.

        • cas127 says:


          You rarely have addicts (newbie RRE speculators) without pushers (da Fed),

          I had a post somewhere describing the Fed’s good/bad motives behind the Long ZIRP…but there were definitely bad ones (political) mixed in.

      • Chuck F says:

        All the while doing everything to prevent additional construction.

      • cb says:

        “They’re providing a service for which there is a lot of demand, and they’re investing and taking risks to provide that service.”


        They are living off of rents ………….

        • Wolf Richter says:

          So what? The largest apartment property in San Francisco with over 3,000 apartments is now in trouble, and the landlord may lose it as lenders (CMBS) foreclose on it. Landlords are not collecting handouts. They’re investing, taking a risk, and providing a service, and sometimes it works out and they make money, and sometimes it doesn’t and they lose the property. It’s a business like any other. What’s your hang-up? What kind of BS is this?

        • cb says:

          My hangup is that concentrated wealth and power through a manipulated, financially engineered economy pushes a rentier society where the well positioned get to live off the rent of others.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          People who started companies and hired employees always “lived off” the labor of others. Start your own company. If you want to be a landlord, get that going. Take the risk of watching your investment get wiped out and become a landlord. There is demand for rentals, and where there is demand, they will be supply. I have no idea where this bullshit hatred for landlords comes from. Maybe the word, “landlord?”

    • kramartini says:

      There is no assurance that a house bought in today’s market would be a vehicle for “accumulating wealth”…

      • cas127 says:

        Agreed, see 2007…

        But the broader point is that housing markets have been destabilized (boom/bust/boom/bust) for 20 years now.

        I don’t know if there a ton of US precedent for that.

        Certainly not since the Great Depression.

        The late 70’s/early 80’s saw a lot of volatility too…but that was perhaps 6-7 years.

        More recently, we’re talking 20 years of abnormality.

        • HowNow says:

          “More recently, we’re talking 20 years of abnormality.” You’re right, cas127. But who ya gonna blame? You’d say, “The gummint” which you consistently do. Spurts of housing inflation has been happening, though, for decades.

          Boom and bust is a human phenom. The Fed, being the banking watchdog is mostly to blame for allowing the insanity of the build-up to 2008, allowing lending that a 10-yr-old could recognize were not legit. But they were complacent, and, to an extent, we’re thinking that bankers (and mbs & derivative creators) knew what they were doing, and that they’d be better off letting natural, market forces work things out, laissez faire-like, because people are rational. Then, to keep the economy from turning into a second great depression (which probably would have happened), they tried to fix it every-which-way. Then the pandemic.

          But this is more about human behavior than anyone being to blame. To think that this was malicious or unadulterated greed is just projection. But you’re right, this has been abnormal.

          My guess is that we’ll stabilize here, with more rational mortgage rates, but the inflated prices won’t deflate by much.

        • HowNow says:

          Greenspan: Libertarian/Republican.

          Bernanke: Republican, at least when he was appointed and economic advisor to George W. and while being the Fed chair.

          Both were “invisible handers”.

        • Cas127 says:


          1) After at least two cycles of housing madness post 2000, I think it is very, very hard to say that ZIRP wasn’t the central, indispensable factor. Of course human greed and stupidity operationalized the cycles of ruin…but without the Fed-provided fuel, those forces of human venality would have had 90%+ less to work with.

          And the Fed could see this, in real time, day after day, for 20 years.

          2) In their defense, the Fed would claim “there is only one interest rate” – meaning that they were primarily intending to resurrect the broader “suboptimal” US economy (beaten to a pulp by China) by strangling rates (via money printing and blind Treasuries buying) and that turning the secondary housing market into a leveraged, ZIRP-speculative casino was unavoidable “collateral damage” (despite housing being among the most central asset mkts).

          And I understand that. But we are talking 20 years without much course correction, open and honest debate, or admitting to necessary tradeoffs.

          3) And…in the end, this was all ultimately done in the name of providing a false patina of “normality” for DC to market as China was annihilating our ass competitively. And…to finance the perpetual free reign of DC driven (but citizen funded) agendas, divorced from the actual failed outcomes of those agendas.

          The same “I am the King, to be unquestioned and unaccountable” attitude is displayed (in another context) by the current significant inflation and DC’s utter unwillingness to defer or rescind a dollar of the high-power trillions conjured to be laid at the feet of DC’s agendas.

        • cb says:

          “Then, to keep the economy from turning into a second great depression (which probably would have happened), they tried to fix it every-which-way.” ….. (which probably would have happened)


          complete conjecture

        • cb says:

          “Greenspan: Libertarian/Republican.

          Bernanke: Republican, at least when he was appointed and economic advisor to George W. and while being the Fed chair.

          Both were “invisible handers”.”

          both were complete manipulators

    • ChS says:

      I wonder what that family did with the money they didn’t have to put down on a mortgage, or the taxes, or the maintenance, or… If they chose to invest that money in the SP500, they might be doing OK

      • Home toad says:

        The family money? Wilbur and his wife Bertha invest this money in the SP500 as you say, lived a simple life, own their own home and are now enjoying retirement. Their kids are another story, they couldn’t save a dime, they wouldn’t know how.

      • Charlie says:

        if your smart and invested you money wisely you would do as good as “investing” in real estate.

    • TonyT says:

      If they’re renting a SFH in the SF Bay Area right now, they’re smart, because renting a SFH is much, much cheaper than buying the same home.

      • Ronald Reagan got me out says:

        I don’t get this investment guru logic.
        In the same sense, aren’t the smart people the ones who rent motel rooms on a nightly basis because the individual transactions are less?
        Are all the smart renters subletting their space out to someone else lower down in the food chain?
        Is real estate now assessed like a depreciating similar to a machine in an industrial facility or a car driven new off a lot?
        I’m definitely not saying buying a house is smart right now. You might want to wait and get spanked more by inflation before you learnt that the US stoops as low as most other third world countries with how it is willing to manage things like it’s financial sovereignty and inflation.
        What kind of bubble never pops? Sounds more like a ball than a bubble. A big ball of shit and a bunch of flip-flopping overly generic and overly simplified smug financial advice. I hope home prices crash too, but I’ve also been hoping the US government gets less corrupt and have seen the opposite over the last few decades.

    • Gattopardo says:

      “who are utilizing their wealth to prevent somebody from accumulating wealth”

      That, right there, is a perfect example of what’s wrong with American thinking.

    • The Bob who cried Wolf says:

      My wife and I bought our first “rental” as a potential flip. 911 happened and we became accidental landlords when the market froze in 2001 and nobody, and I mean nobody wanted to buy anything. We took on great risk in buying that place and regardless of whether we sold it or chose to rent it out, it has always been occupied by someone who wanted to live there. Your comment is one of the most interesting comments I’ve ever seen on this site. Did you consider that there are many demographics that can’t, won’t, or simply don’t want to own? Young college students come to mind mainly because of where many of our rentals are located, but also hard working paycheck to paycheck tenants. I have the upmost respect for each and every one of our tenants and appreciate what they provide for us and know that they, for the most part, feel the same for what we provide for them. Also, to Wolf’s point, most landlords are very much like me and my wife. I only know one guy who’s in the mega landlord category, but even he’s just a guy, not some sort of Wall Street corp.

    • drifterprof says:

      As an M&P landlord, a large chunk of my profit (house in coastal Oregon) goes for taxes to fund parks, schools, roads, utilities, law enforcement, and insurance, repairs, and so on. Living in Thailand, I don’t benefit from those local services and can get burnt by tennant irresponsibility, dishonesty, etc.

      So, like not having child deductions on Federal tax returns, seems like I’m contributing significantly to social welfare for others. I have to dodge sketchy tenant behavior at times too, so IMO most of them would just blow their accumulating wealth anyway.

      • HowNow says:

        Total rationalization, from beginning to end.

      • Ronald Reagan got me out says:

        Sorry, I’m not up on the carpetbagger lingo.
        Can I ask what is an M&P Landlord?
        Master & Peasant?
        Maybe & Probably?
        Murican & Proud?
        Money & Pleasure?
        Meticulous & Professional?

        Regardless, I can sympathize, and your situation seems terrible. Have you considered selling? Maybe someone who actually lives in the community might not mind making money of their own community members and paying taxes towards their own community from the profit made of the local lowly yokels. Also, have you thought of selling and doing the same business in thailand somehow. The taxes might be less and you might not have to fund any pesky stuff that you never use.

      • DM says:

        A portion of your tenant’s rent funds the taxes you pay and provides for the local services from which they benefit. You also benefit from the taxes they pay. Real estate values might fall if not for taxes used to maintain or increase the desirability of the area. Rejoice! You are not a victim after all!

      • cb says:

        “As an M&P landlord, a large chunk of my profit (house in coastal Oregon) goes for taxes to fund parks, schools, roads, utilities, law enforcement, and insurance, repairs, and so on.”

        nice of your tenants to provide all that

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Just gotta reply to the notion that: 40 acres and a mule never happened.”
      One of the very best friends my dad had was a 5th generation guy, ”very old” to me at the time, though I approach.
      His ancestor(s) were part of the US effort to eradicate the earlier peoples in FL in the 1800s, and those ancestors were ”granted” 40 acres and a mule for their service.
      Far damn shore, they and their offspring, then ”aggregated” several sections, mostly by buying…
      DO NOT in any way denigrate the efforts of such folks in any way, because, in spite of the vast degradation and revisionism, those folks were doing their best to OBEY the laws of the time,,, including those unwritten laws that continue to this day.

    • MM says:

      “they would have 75% equity instead of squat”

      I don’t understand the obsession with equity – all it does is get you a tax bill from the city.

      If the equity in my house went to zero it would still be the same house.

      • Ronald Reagan got me out says:

        I know right!
        For the same reason, I quite my job. I realized that working was causing me to pay taxes. It was completely ridiculous. The more I worked, the more I made, but the more I paid in taxes. How is paying a lot in taxes ever a good thing? Paying taxes is always bad, everyone know that. So the fact that the amount I was paying in income taxes kept going up over the years with each promotion was a sure sign that working was not a good thing to keep doing. It just didn’t make financial sense. Now, instead, I pay people to work for me! People need to grow a pair and start their own business. If you aren’t happy with your job, start your own and be your own boss. I’m even looking into paying myself if I can figure out how to mess with the taxes part. Some people are just too dumb to know how to start a business or they just don’t have what it takes to be a big shot like me. You have to sell yourself, not just be one of these guys that thinks doing good quality work makes you so special. Plenty of people can run a weedwacker but not everyone can finance a dope ass lifted truck with really cool graphics showcasing how really boss your landscaping company is.

    • MussSyke says:

      My buddy escaped from Communist Vietnam a few decades ago with the family fortune of a couple hundred $. Learned English in Thailand, lived in a basement while he put himself through college, became an Engineer. Real American Dream story. Despite having similar jobs, he has much less wealth than me and is just a middle class dude getting by happily with a lovely family.

      Once he became comfortable paying on his modest house, he bought a dump and has been going there every day after work to labor on this dump and turned it in to something decent. He has family friends that WANT to rent it from him. This guy is creating wealth for his family the old fashioned way…a combination of all he has: brains, labor, perseverance: striving to help his next generation. I admire this particular landlord. And who could fault him?

  3. SmileTiger says:

    I’m not having luck finding the original source of the data via Google, for whatever reason. Of the vacant units, is there any way to tell how many are temporarily unavailable due to renovations, regular turnover, etc., how many are derelict, and how many are only occupied seasonally (e.g., condos at a ski resort)?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      You’re asking for data on vacant units that the Census Bureau provides that I have covered before and that wasn’t part of this data set. So here it is again, from my article a year ago (figures have changed only a little since then):

      Of the total vacant units in Q4, 2022 (14.55 million, 10.1% of total housing units):

      • Vacant year-round: 10.95 million (7.6% of total housing units)
      • Vacant seasonal: 3.60 million (2.5% of total housing units).

      Of the 10.95 million year-round vacant units:

      • For rent: 2.76 million, 1.6% of total
      • For sale only: 0.72 million, 0.5% of total
      • Rented or Sold: 0.81 million, 0.6%
      • Held off Market: 6.66 million, 4.6%
        • For Occasional Use: 2.01 million
        • Temporarily Occupied by persons “usual residence elsewhere” (URE): 1.11 million
        • Other: 3.54 million

      These 3.54 million “other” units under “Held off Market,” were held off the rental or sale market for these reasons (Census Bureau definitions):

      • Foreclosure: units under foreclosure, bank owned, bankrupt, up for auction, sheriff’s sale, repossessed, have a lien, or taken for taxes.
      • Personal/Family Reasons: owner does not want to rent/sell, owner is deciding what to do, owner is keeping for family use, owner is staying with family, or owner is in assisted living or other type of care situation.
      • Legal Proceedings: units held for the settlement of estate, in probate, involved in divorce or eviction proceedings, or where the owner is deceased, units with code violations.
      • Preparing to Rent/Sell: units that will be placed for rent or for sale this month or where the owner is meeting with a listing agent/agency this month to prepare to put the unit on the market.
      • Held for Storage of Household Furniture: units that are vacant and used to store excess household furniture or other household items.
      • Needs Repairs: units that are in need of repair, renovations, or cleaning, but are not currently being repaired, renovated, or cleaned.
      • Currently Being Repaired/Renovated. units that are being repaired, renovated, refurbished, or cleaned.
      • Specific Use Housing. units that are vacant and only used by a specific group of people at one or various times throughout the year, such as military housing, employee/corporate housing, transient quarters, units held by a church, student housing (dorms and school-sponsored housing), model home/apartment, or guest house.
      • Extended Absence. units where the owner is on extended work or military assignment, temporarily out of the country, or in jail.
      • Abandoned/Possibly to be Demolished/Possibly Condemned: units that are abandoned, units that are said to be demolished or condemned, but where there is no positive evidence such as a sign, notice, or mark on the house or in the block to indicate the unit is to be demolished or condemned.
      • Other Write-in/Don’t Know: units where the knowledgeable respondent and/or field representative does not know why the unit is other vacant.
  4. Bond Vigilante Wannabe says:


    Do you have any thoughts about rent control initiatives in California and what impact that would have?

    My feeling is that it will cause more mom and pop operations to sell, and that only large established players will be landlords.

    The problem with that scenario is that if they are concentrated in certain cities, they have the lobbying power to shift things in their favor, and defeat the purpose of the rent control ordinances, while simultaneously destroying a free market mechanism that would help bring supply and demand in balance.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Nah. The new state rent control laws cap rent increases at 10%, or 5% plus CPI, whichever is lower. And when the tenants move out, the unit goes on the market at market rent. 10% rent increases are not exactly hardship for landlords.

      • Bond Vigilante Wannabe says:

        I was thinking more specifically about the “Justice for Renters Act” which would remove Hawkins Costa and allow municipalities to get rid of vacancy decontrol and impose rent increases at less than CPI.

        These sorts of local laws (think Berkeley and Santa Monica) existed in the 1970s and 1980s, and caused it to be very difficult to actually get an apartment in those cities.

        My thoughts are the trajectories of the politics here, not the current situation.

        A lot of smaller landlords can’t take that kind of hit, and my guess is that most small landlords in California will be heading for the exits.

        If they do, and only corporate landlords remain, what do you think the rental market will look like?

        • Petunia says:

          There’s a new law in NY regarding rent stabilization. Basically, when an old tenant moves out, they have to renovate the apartment, but cannot pass on the cost to new tenants. Landlords have chosen not to renovate and leave apartments empty. Rent stabilization was suppose to curtail rent increases, not eliminate them.

      • DougP says:

        The new ballot measure this November, if passed, will get rid of the protections of Costa-Hawkins, that protect single-family small Landlords from more rent control.

        As a landlord of several SFH I can tell you that when it gets to the point where it aint’ worth the trouble, many will sell or convert to short-term rentals. There are many options that all result in less housing stock available. Care to guess what that does to the remaining units asking prices? The same thing it always does.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Reminds me: You need to talk to some of the commenters here, such as Glen above, who think that you, the landlord, is outbidding regular homebuyers and buying these houses out from under them, as Glen said here, “…whether it is a mom and pop or a corporation who are utilizing their wealth to prevent somebody from accumulating wealth…”

        • Bond Vigilante Wannabe says:

          I agree with you.

          People in the industry I have talked to have said we are likely to end up just having corporate landlords in California. The corporate landlords will then end up doing backroom lobbying deals, and suddenly renters will get screwed along with the smaller mom and pop landlords.

          To me, this increasingly feels like Latin America, which I left to come here. And yet, the United States is making the same mistakes…

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Bond Vigilante Wannabe,

          Corporate landlords aren’t stupid. They stopped buying individual houses a few years ago. Prices are too crazy, and they cannot make their rentals work out at these prices and with the rents they can get.

          All they’re doing now is selling their entire portfolios to fund managers, such as Blackstone, or buying each other out, and some are building their own rental developments (build to rent), which they can do at lower price points that work for them.

        • DougP says:

          I bought with my own money and took the risks of which there are many. Many cannot afford to buy a home but can afford to rent one at a fraction of the cost of buying. I provide clean, well-maintained and updated homes at a fair price in good areas. My tenants stay for years and end up paying below market rents because I value them.

          There is not nor has there ever been a shortage of homes to buy. A Landlord buys a property and someone lives in it. That is a valuable service.

          What exactly is a “regular homebuyer”? I’m a regular guy and I bought a home when I could afford it to help with my retirement.

          Did someone lose out in a home to buy and live in because I bought it? Sure, but someone that could not possibly afford to buy that same home is living in it now. Is that a bad thing?

        • dougP says:

          The last home I was fortunate to buy was in 2019 and sat on the market for almost 2 months due to many inspection issues that scared all of the “regular homebuyers” that know nothing about which end of a hammer to use. I don’t feel I outbid anyone and in fact offered a lot less than asking price.

          Younger buyers want the homes they see on the house websites but are afraid to build sweat equity, I’m not.

    • cas127 says:

      “while simultaneously destroying a free market mechanism that would help bring supply and demand in balance”

      Zoning density restrictions *also* destroy a free market mechanism.

      Why isn’t that of equal concern/import?

      • HowNow says:

        Someone upwind of you should build a chicken ranch.

        • cas127 says:

          And perhaps you oughtta lose your house and have to try and,

          1) re-buy at ZIRP engorged prices, or

          2) rent…at engorged levels due to restrict zoning.

          Apparently, “where you stand, is where you sit” – my original point was about trying to have some intellectual integrity when it comes to pointing interference in the market.

          Sure, rent control is bad/stupid…but so economically restrictive zoning.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          …an ongoing, attendant conundrum of humans having to construct dwelling and infrastructure of increasing density over the centuries, contemporary knowledge seriously trailing that of possible self-harm/poisoning effects of those efforts (with some always, ALWAYS, being sure to make a buck off either end of the process…).

          may we all find a better day.

  5. Bear Hunter says:

    Please! Owning a home is not an easy path to wealth. What it is, forced savings.

    If you have the dicipline to save, you may be better off renting and avoid all the costs and hassles of maintaining your own property.

    Being a landlord is not an easy path either.

    It works and you will earn every cent.

    I got out of houes a long time ago and bought property, subdivided it and sold it for payments.

    Less risk, more profit, and far less problems than owning shakes.

    • Warren G. Harding says:

      In many places, owning a home is an easy way to wealth.

      • kramartini says:

        Or an easy way to lose money…

        • cas127 says:

          It is the leverage.

          That is why ZIRP/unZIRP has turned the US housing market into ThunderDome.

          (2 men enter…)

      • Gattopardo says:

        “In many places, owning a home HAS BEEN an easy way to wealth WHEN ALL THE STARS ALIGN.”

        Fixed it for you.

        • HowNow says:

          Especially when you have the federal tax system working in your behalf:
          Income property depreciation that does not depreciate
          Tax-free gains on personal dwellings held for 2 years…

      • JeffD says:

        Single family residences are massive tax shelters, especially in area where there is no more empty land to build on. You get the “depreciation” that can be carried over in taxes for years, while at the same time, the *real world* home appreciation is 5%+ every year. Every homed own just expands your carry-forward tax shelter. It’s certainly a boondoggle.

      • cc says:

        In many places, owning a home “was” an easy way to wealth.

    • Herpderp says:

      If you ignore the cost of paying your land lord and hassle of being beholden to them. Sure. And of course the fact a mortgage payment stays the same for 30 years and your rent will rise 7% annually for 30 years.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Right now, you’re paying the bank 7% in interest on that $500K home, for 30 years. You’re paying $500k for the house PLUS you’re paying $530K in interest over 30 years. PLUS you’re paying property taxes, insurance, and maintenance for 30 years. You need to add it all up. If home prices don’t soar during that time, you’re in the hole. But you own your own home, and it’s OK for it to be expensive if it makes you happy.

        • Debt-Free-Bubba says:

          Howdy Lone Wolf. And sometimes some of US just want to take off and not be bothered with owning Real Estate too.

        • Herpderp says:

          I think right now would be the one time it doesnt make sense to buy over rent. This market is nuts. But its not indicative of the normal value in buying and why homeownership has long been seen as a path to building wealth. Any landlording buying now to rent at todays prices would be a fool. However if the cost of upkeep, taxes and mortgages were always higher than the price of rent, landlords would not exist. Or they would be the most generous people in the world.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          When you see a lot of mom & pop land lords jumping in and buying homes for speculation rather than to live in, then you can bet that the RE market top has finally arrived and it’s time to run for cover. It’s 2007 all over again. I don’t feel sorry for any of these losers when this time arrives.

        • jon says:

          Replying to Herpdeep:

          In my location, renting is much much cheaper than buying.
          A home which may cost you $5K/month rent is gonna gonna you $8.5K/month in PITI. Also, don’t forget the $200K you’d need to putdown as down payment. $200K would give you ~$10K/year in treasury returns.

          So, you are looking at: $4K/month rent Vs $8.5K/month in how ownership cost.

          Even if one is planning to buy a home in my location to live in, better to rent than purchase unless people see big increase in home prices from these levels which I don’t see.

        • Marianne says:

          For the past 4 years I tried renting. I had forced cable and had the have the same internet provider. With no choice service sucked. Then when the woman upstairs drained her kitchen sink it would fill mine. Then there’s the guy next door who chain smoked on his balcony making mine unusable. Oh yeah, his parents bought him a huge tv and when he wasn’t smoking I heard loud video games at all hours. Moved from there next to the Neighbors From Hell. In their backyard smoking weed and playing loud music while they egg on their dog and two pigs. Can’t use my backyard due to the stench of pig crap. Presently awaiting my fridge to be fixed as it’s leaking water. They tried to fix it 3 times. Oh well. I can’t stand the aggravation of dealing with property management companies. You can keep your rentals. Bought a house, paid cash, and am moving in two weeks.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Glad to hear. Hopefully you won’t have neighbors from hell. Neighbors from hell can happen anywhere. They’re a scourge.

        • DougP says:

          “When you see a lot of mom & pop land lords jumping in and buying homes for speculation rather than to live in, then you can bet that the RE market top has finally arrived and it’s time to run for cover. It’s 2007 all over again”

          Quite the opposite actually. Mom and Pops, myself included, are not rich by any means and we wait until that mad rush is over to buy. I bought in 2011 at the bottom and again in 2019 after the spring 2018 crazy run up. Timing is everything. Only a fool bids on tulips…..

        • Gattopardo says:

          “Quite the opposite actually. Mom and Pops, myself included, are not rich by any means and we wait until that mad rush is over to buy. ”

          LOL, for real!!!!

          It’s quite the opposite of your opposite. Maybe you have discipline, but every crash leaves a trail of wrecked FOMOing landlord dreams who thought it would be easy….

      • TonyT says:

        Or rents drop 30% when a bubble pops – I’ve seen that happen.

      • OutsideTheBox says:

        NO mortgage payment with escrow stays the same over time.

        Taxes goes up.

        Insurance goes up.

        No such thing as a mortgage that stays the same over time.

        • MM says:

          Not everyone does escrow. I specifically chose not to.

          But you’re right about tax & ins costs rising substantially. No free lunch for homeowners either.

      • Pilotdoc says:

        Don’t forget the mandatory Christmas bonus to me, the landlord, or the “raid the single mom fridge” clause I put in all my leases.

        Gotta keep the pressure on you landless rentoids or you’ll be blowing your money on all sorts of useless stuff…

        • Home toad says:

          I bought a home for the reason that I didn’t want to be called homeless.
          I’m golfing, and I look at these apartments surrounding the golf course. 3 floors, dogs allowed, neighbors, parking issues, getting deposit back. I’m sorry, I know every situation is different but I actually feel sorry for those poor slobs.

    • jon says:

      “Owning a home is not an easy path to wealth.
      > What it is, forced savings.””

      It has been very lucrative for home owners/landlords for the last few decades as obvious from the home prices still hanging in at the peak prices, at least in my locale, all due to FEDs policies.

      My friend bought a home for ~1 mill 4 years back, recently sold it for $2 mill.

      • Gattopardo says:


        4 years back is not a few decades.

        Do the math, OTHER THAN the last 3-4 years, the rate of growth in housing isn’t that great. The SP500 has crushed it. And then factor in all the prop taxes and maintenance, and SFH returns are a lot smaller than you think.

        • JeffD says:

          I bought a condo in 2012 for $245K and sold just under seven years after I bought for $620K. I paid $0 to maintain the inside of the structure itself over that period, and the HOA paid $0_to maintain the structure itself (outside of an annual gutter cleaning) over the entire 7 years. My property taxes were about 1/4 the price of rent at the time I bought. I paid off all but $10K of my loan off in the first year, and let the rest run out. I did invest $10K to renovate before selling. Great profit, essentially no real expenses.

        • ctcarver says:


          On an all cash purchase you are absolutely right that returns on the SP500 are much better than SFH. The difference for SFH is borrowing 0.80 of every dollar of purchase price is considered to be totally fiscally responsible. You still see the gain (or loss) of the price change of the total purchase price. The last few years of 2.75-4.00% mortgages made this a lucrative bet.

          If you’re a veteran you can get 100% financing and risk nothing at all, except your credit rating.

          If you told anyone you bought a million dollars in SPY using 80% margin, most people would look at you like you’re insane. Only hedge funds do that, and only with other people’s money.

        • Gattopardo says:


          Congrats, nice gain! You picked the very bottom of the selloff to buy. Had you bought it in 2005 through 2008, you’d have had a very different return, likely negative after a decade.

  6. jon says:

    Thanks WR for creating these articles.

    I know you are dispelling certain myths about large home ownership of large corps.

    What I am most interested and other common Joe is about if and when housing would become affordable to common Joe or common Joe is cursed to serfdom to land lords for ever.

  7. ApartmentInvestor says:

    Bear Hunter writes:

    > Owning a home is not an easy path to wealth.
    > What it is, forced savings.

    Home ownership is not just forced “savings” it is also forced “investment”. Earlier this year my sister “invested” more than $30K in a new roof on her home and just this week it looks like my brother will be spending over $20K on a new HVAC system at his home. As a landlord I agree that is is not an “easy path” but I think that owning rental property is a LOT less risky than owning land (since you need to be very political if you ever want the ability to develop and subdivide land).

    • XLOVELI says:

      This comment makes me think of Western history.

      It’s amazing to me that there was ever a time when there was a “just profit” allowed by the Church. But there was. Price gouging was severely frowned upon. Christianity and the free market were uneasy bedfellows. Now, it’s open season on the consumer and corporations keep getting bigger and bigger through mergers, shutting down competition. What a world we live in.

    • Bear Hunter says:

      I did not say anything about develope. Buy a big chunk and sell little chunks. A survey and right of way is all it takes. Works for select building lots, buy for cash and sell for payments.

  8. Debt-Free-Bubba says:

    Howdy Youngins. See how small business owners can prosper and gain wealth, 80 %. GOLLY ??? Maybe there is a “small business” owner app??? HEE HEE Now unlock those handcuffs you 3 % ers and HELOC your equity and go prosper….. OH sorry, that would take a lot of work. Never mind……

    • OutsideTheBox says:

      So you are both a “squirrel” and a borrower at the same time?

      Frankly, that is absurd.

      • Debt-Free-Bubba says:

        Howdy Outside tb A squirrel saves $$$ and borrows and invests as an LLC.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          And if the property is in an LLC and requires a mortgage, the individual owner of the LLC must act a guarantor for said mortgage.

          Few mortgage companies will lend directly to an LLC.

          Oh yeah, I realise there are other methods of obtaining the cash – all risky, shaky and shady.

          You’re not a “squirrel” if you are borrowing.

        • Debt-Free-Bubba says:

          Howdy Outside tb. Of course a squirrel can save and borrow too. Saving more than borrow makes you a squirrel. Its AOK to not understand or agree with people.

        • Home toad says:

          I like you bubba but you might be turning into a weasel. Certainly not the talk of an old school squirrel.

          Instead of renting or owning a home, roam around like a wayward rodent and enjoy the fresh air and sights to behold this beautiful country has to offer.

  9. northernlights says:

    I am curious how short term rentals are catagozied, e.g. Airbnb, in the statistics as they don’t fit neatly into the categories.

    Comparing NYC from 2023 to 2024 would be interesting if Local Law 18 decimates the Airbnb model.

    • Debt-Free-Bubba says:

      Howdy northernlights. Thats the beauty of individuals and individual Freedom. Airbnb did not create the individual. The individuals will create another way to proper without Airbnb.

  10. JamesO says:

    great data a Wolf! thank you. I was one of the ones that thought the mega landlords in SFH played a much bigger role than the data shows. oops!

    is it fair to assume that short term rentals – both SFH and multi units – are included in the rental stats?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      There are rental units, especially apartments, that tenants put on the short-term rental market (“rental arbitrage”). Many landlords are starting to go along with that. So they’re still counted as rental units.

      Short-term rentals when they only have a few weeks a year of occupancy are counted as vacant. See my long comment above.

  11. Pete Koziar says:

    Question: Does “multi-family” include buildings with 2-4 units? There are a good number of those small apartment houses in my area, usually large old houses that have been carved up.

    If so, I wonder how many of those are also “mom and pop” operations.

    • MM says:

      I’m wondering this too – where does a duplex fit in, specifically one where the landlord lives on one side and rents out the other side?

      Does that still count as owner-occupied, or are the two sides of the duplex counted as two separate housing units?

  12. Cobalt Programmer says:

    1. FED are the largest owners of any properties and YOU. Mind it.
    2. Big fish owns the smaller fish. Bigger fish owns the big fish. C Nam Sayin? Litteraally!!
    3. Are you telling me, that suddenly all the smaller fish owns the tinier fish, without a policy, mandate and law wide change and paid, funded and (supposedly) owned by the taxpayers?
    4. How come earth will be still spinning in its axis, without the average joe (Janitors, waitresses, soldiers, gas station clerks, cops, lawyers, nurses and graduate students)?
    5. No amount of rationalization can define the current narrative. Its not gender, or generational or capitalist system at fault. I do not know either…
    6. I am just another Hercules seeking the ‘truth’…Just as you are… A Lone Wolf Indeed…

    • Wolf Richter says:

      RTGDFA. It doesn’t bite.

      • Cobalt Programmer says:

        I am just trying to provide more meaningful insight and deeply philosophical without any proof. I want to post some profound, thoughts beyond our current narrative and understandings. They may be worthless, but ornamental and flowery to read. OK…

  13. EW says:

    It would be interesting to know not what percentage they own of the market, but what percentage they have been purchasing of the available homes on market annually over the past 5-10 years. How has this changed and is this buying power in low inventory markets driving up the cost of housing disproportionately.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Corporate landlords stopped buying individual houses a few years ago. Prices are too high, and they cannot make their rentals work out at these prices and with the rents they can get. You can read that in the earnings reports.

      All they’re doing now is selling entire portfolios of rentals to fund managers, such as Blackstone, or buying each other out, and some are building their own rental developments, which they can do at lower price points that work for them – called “build to rent,” a huge thing, these developments have their own leasing and maintenance office and are a lot more cost-effective to run than thousands of houses scattered all over the place.

      • AlphaChicken says:

        “some are building their own rental developments, which they can do at lower price points that work for them – called “build to rent,” a huge thing”

        Back in January 2012, the Federal Reserve proposed the “REO To Rental” program ( ) in a white paper on the housing market. That I think sparked the initial round of investor interest in SFH. Very interesting that these investors are now actually building houses to rent. They’ve discovered rent is a cashflow worth capturing, and one they can capture in a novel way.

      • markymark says:

        Exactly, being a landlord myself, the rule of thumb has always been if one can buy at 100 times rent or less; its good value in florida paying cash. 100 times rent or more its not great value in florida paying cash. In some cases these days cost are 200 times rent plus in florida. For investment that doesn’t make sense considering property taxes, insurance which is optional if you own completely, and upkeep. In 2012 in florida 100 times rent or less was the market. These days, not so much anymore. This is why many want to see the markets come in. Prices drop for everyone involved. Prices drop for landlords, prices come in for tenants is my thinking.

        Also, in a way landlords are glorified renters, as you see if the owner doesn’t pay those property taxes; see who really owns that property. i remember some homes going for as little as 40 times rent back in 2008. At that time i wished I new about 100 times rent rule. I did not.

  14. n says:

    In this market cash buyers are an obstacle for new homeowners. 1 in 4 home sales of single family homes are going to institutional buyers. Whatever they do not own now they will own shortly. Its short sighted to look at what they currently own rather than look at the system and current circumstances. Cash is king and the average person needs a mortgage. They have 0 chance to purchase a home. The only real way forward is to get lucky or build your own home until circumstances change. And yes, competing against cash buyers – some boomers – but mostly institutional investors – is impossible for most people. Anything that is a “good deal” goes to investors and the rest of the population is screwed. America is eating its young and old folks and throwing the middle class to the wolves. I believe in fair market competition but when there is socialism for the rich – ie. corporate bailouts, carry over interest, and fake bankruptcies – and capitalism for the middle and working class we are in deep trouble.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “1 in 4 home sales of single family homes are going to institutional buyers.”

      That’s not correct. Cash buyers are NOT necessarily institutional buyers. Institutional buyers stopped buying essentially because they cannot make the deal work at current high prices with the prevailing rents.

      There is a comment here from someone who just paid cash for a house to live in. I know other commenters here have bought paying cash. Paying cash is a good option for lots of people with cash, now that mortgage rates are 7%.

      About one-third of homeowners own their home free and clear.

      From the NAR, for February:

      “All-cash sales accounted for 33% of transactions in February, up from 32% in January and 28% one year ago.

      Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 21% of homes in February, up from 17% in January and 18% in February 2023.”

      • ApartmentInvestor says:

        It is important to remember that sales reported as “all cash” are really just “sales without a mortgage contingency”. In a hot market you need to be able to close quickly if you want to have the offer that gets accepted. Every property I have purchased in the last 20 years has been “all cash” at close (where I got a permanent loan after closing) and many rich friends have bought homes and condos for their (out of college) kids in the past decade closing with “all cash” and then putting a permanent loan on the property later. P.S. All loans don’t have impounds and the payment can be the same for the next 15-30 years and (with the exception of limited “bad boy” carve outs lenders have no problem doing “non-recourse” loans to a LLC without a loan guarantor (all my current loans are non recourse loans to LLCs)

        • HowNow says:

          Mind your p’s and q’s, ApartmentInvestor. You may be surprised to find that some states only allow “non-recourse” for a first trust deed on the initial purchase. Becomes “recourse” if it’s a first t d but subsequent to the initial purchase. Crazy but true.

        • ApartmentInvestor says:

          @HowNow you are correct that in some states home “purchase” loans are all non recourse (the lender will just take the property and not run after you for a deficiency judgement if you don’t pay), but I am not aware of any state that will not “allow” a non recourse loan on a refinance.

  15. spencer says:

    Who owns contracts in the Housing Choice Voucher Program? While privately owned properties, they are subsidized by the Federal Government. So, ownership is questionable?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Before we get too tangled up here: About 2.1 million renters across the US live in section 8 apartments, out of 29 million occupied rental apartments, so about 7%.

      This is spread over both the renter-based Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program and the project-based Section 8 housing.

      As you said, landlords own the property. The Housing Choice voucher program that you mentioned subsidizes renters with vouchers (a form of income for rental purposes), and they can live wherever a landlord accepts them (not easy). The government is not involved in the property.

      • OutWest says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful response! I’ve worked in subsidized housing for the past 25 years for those who cannot and will never be able to afford market rate. The rage, and anger directed at them always persists…

        • JS says:

          When they’re good neighbors, most of us don’t care. The problem is when they move in and destroy the neighborhood. I have such a neighbor who has 8 cars parked all over the property and some of the sketchiest family members and friends you’ve ever seen. We’ve had an increase in mail/package thefts and “petty” crimes since they moved in two years ago.

  16. Shiloh1 says:

    1040 INSTRUCTIONS – Schedule C treatment (the corps) versus Schedule E treatment (ma and pa) much different. Know what “passive” and “actively manage” means.

  17. Debt-Free-Bubba says:

    Howdy to all the mom and pop rental entrepreneurs. Heard all the nonsense about squatters? Go on vacation and a squatter takes your home? Total nonsense. Its called burglary and easy to prove. Evictions are proving harder since Covid. Mortgage the building to the max and let the bank take it back…..

  18. Earl says:

    Statistica has an online list of the 21 the largest apartment owners from April 2023 that is similar to Wolf’s list. The largest was MAA with 99,676 units and number 21 was J.P. Morgan Asset Management with 54,506. The latter is apparently not related to privately held Morgan Properties at 94,600 units.
    I looked up Jared Kushner’s Kushners Properties which per Google has 20,000 units in 13 states. The firm agreed to a penalty and restitution settlement in 2021 with the state of Maryland related to illegal fees and poor maintenance.

  19. Nico says:

    This breakdown doesn’t tell us much about how these percentages actually impact the single family housing market and subsequent availability during each years selling season. How does 8M vacant homes + 14M rental homes compare to previous years? For many years has the total numbers of large to mega housing owners been 6% and how does that compare to years when housing prices weren’t on an insanely upward trajectory? Is the cutoff where single family ownership impacts pricing and availability for the average American at 1, 2, 3% of the total market? Just saying, oh it’s only 3% of the market for mega property owners so people who are complaining about them are just ignorant belies ignorance as well if we can’t say, quantitatively, how these numbers impact home buying, generally.

    • Lynn H says:

      Absolutely. 6% is a lot. And even 3% is enough to swing a market. Especially since it’s not distributed equally geographically.

      Plus, some of the 1-9 unit housing owners are techs buying online sight unseen. Not experienced M&Ps. Far from it. Not as common as before as they are learning how easy it is to get burned, but it has been a big piece of the puzzle in Northern Ca.

  20. BigAl says:


    What do you mean by “mom and pop”? Can you be more specific?

      • BigAl says:


        The term “mom and pop” suggests a demographic category; i’s a misleading term.

        The CEO of my company was a majority owner of 4 small-scale rental Real Estate LLCs. I don’t know the specifics of two of them, but the other two comprised 3 and 7 housing units. Thus, those two were “mom and pop” owners.

        What exactly he was playing at in having his finger in four separate RE LLCs – I do not know.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Mom-and-pop means small investor. It’s a standard American English expression. There are no demographic connotations.

          From my trusty digital Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, those are the only three meanings:

          1. of or pertaining to a small retail business, usually owned and operated by members of a family: a mom-and-pop grocery.
          2. of or indicating something, as an enterprise, investment, or project, that is independent, small in scope, and modestly financed.
          3. a small-scale, owner-operated business”

          No, your CEO is not mom and pop. Four buildings, two of them have 11 housing units combined, plus the other two have x housing units = 20 housing units? 25 housing units? He is in the next category, 10-99.

          But he owns multifamily, not single-family. So that’s different anyway.

  21. SoCalBeachDude says:

    The Dow is down about 500 points this morning on ‘dot points’…

  22. Einhal says:

    The inflation report was absolutely horrid, and stocks are only down 1%, instead of being down the 10-15% they should be.

    It just goes to show that Depth Charge is right, that there is too much liquidity still in the system and too little faith in the Fed.

  23. SoCalBeachDude says:

    It’s really funny to see the Dow diving by 500 points on dot plot nonsense as inflation ticks up due to gasoline and diesel prices soaring along with other commodities as has been well known for a long time!

  24. Citizen AllenM says:

    3.5% inflation. LoL. Get used to real rates for quite a while.

    Now, what happens when the mortgage market starts pricing in some risk, unlike calling a mortgage a 10 year Tbond.

    The most evil word in a rising rate market, duration. Duration is going to be the killer, with those cheap mortgage bonds from 3 years ago aging like a stale donut.

    House buying going to be splat.

    Sell or wait it out, baaaby.

    Renters win, finally, with more options.

    • grimp says:

      Time to pop the bubble, Jerome.
      The biggest bubble – federal spending.

      • SoCalBeachDude says:

        Federal spending being of control has nothing to do with Jerome Powell or the Federal Reserve.

    • cas127 says:

      Broadly agree.

      The interesting thing for me though, is that fact that there hasn’t been any real panic selling in the 2 years since the start of the rate hikes.

      In this day and internet age, even most Mom and Pop’s were likely aware of,

      1) the historically (hysterically?) high prices they were paying for investment houses from, say, 2016-2022 (or, 2003…) and

      2) just how much rate increases would gut demand (by sending monthly payment affordability crashing for successor buyers)

      And, yet…they’ve been white-knuckling through it – with for-sale inventories being pretty historically low.

      I suppose all these M&P’s could be “pivoteers” believing that they can hold on longer than Biden/the US budget deficit can under higher rates…

    • jon says:

      I have been burnt badly with duration of these so called govt bonds badly and thus now dabbling only in short term t bills.

    • Depth Charge says:

      Used house prices have reversed course and are increasing in some locales, albeit on lower volumes. The FED has quite simply failed to even slow the everything bubble. They were celebrating a soft landing when there’s been no landing at all, only altitude gain.

      The bottom line is that the FED paused way too early, and everybody knows it. It was transparent at the time. They want these bubbles and this inflation, and they are going to ride this speculative wave as long as they possibly can. If they could push this thing another decade they would. Sickening.

    • markymark says:

      @Citizen, could you elaborate on those mbs sold at much lower rates back in the day? What happens to them and the holders as todays rates stay elevated for a long period of time? I never even considered this, omg.

      • Citizen AllenM says:

        MBS are bonds. Period. Hold it to maturity you get all the payments. Sell it early, and it is discounted by the current rates to pay an amount as if it was a fresh bond. In short, bond holders are taking a bath today.

        A clear example is the Pimco ZROZ fund, because it has no coupon. It is currently at a 25 year duration. If you look at the fund, it was at $175 a share in 2000- today it is $75. It hasn’t had that much turnover, but the bonds drop in value every single time the rates go up. This is an extreme example of a very complex function. But it is just math. Nothing more, nothing less and the entire bond market moves like this. In short, if you were an extremely brave hedge fund guy in 2020 after covid, you borrowed fresh Treasury bonds, and shorted them for a very long term source of cheap funds. Which is a winning play, unless we turned Japanese.

        The last 30 years has been a bond holding paradise, but now we are in the first innings of a very painful change. The last four years have been tough on bondholders. The 70s financial advisors used to call the certificates of destruction.

        • MM says:

          Zero coupon bonds are a good way to explain the inverse relationship between rates and mark2market prices, because the difference between m2m and par represents all the future interest that the bond has yet to accrue.

  25. cas127 says:


    “RealPage’s software, including its YieldStar product, is used by landlords to estimate supply and demand for their listings, allowing them to maximize rents. The Richardson, Texas-based company employs statistical models and nonpublic data, much of it submitted by its property management clients, to make its estimates. The Justice Department is concerned that RealPage’s software is used as a shield for competitors to exchange sensitive pricing data that their rivals would otherwise not be able to access.”

    “The company, along with its private equity owner Thoma Bravo and dozens of property owners and managers, is already the target of a class-action lawsuit brought by renters. There are also suits filed by attorneys general in Washington, D.C., and Arizona. The North Carolina attorney general recently announced that his office is also investigating.”

    • Charles Clarke says:

      Stupid lawsuit.

      It is easy to go online and see asking rents. Takes time though. RealPage has the computer do it for you. Just like Zillow will give anyone a rent estimate. Useful for renters to use also.

      Though like most “AI”, it doesn’t do better than a knowledgeable human, just better than clueless ones.

      • cas127 says:

        Who knows exactly what “analytics” the RealPage software supplies?

        Landlords could not get on a conference call to collude in the setting of minimum prices.

        But RealPage might very well have a “Projected Rent” metric calculated (via a programmed “black box”) designed to effect the same sort of collusion.

        In other words, RealPage could gather vast, detailed quantities of rate/vacancy data (far beyond that available from “calling around”) and then calculate optimal collusive pricing data…made available to paying landlords.

        Potential collusion via a computer program would still be collusion.

  26. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: AMC CEO Adam Aron says ‘it’s inconceivable’ that the movie theater chain would file for Chapter 11

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Sounds like they’re preparing to file and are just trying to screw their shareholders one more time. This guy has been a brutal torturer of his share holders. But they deserve everything they get.

    • Shiloh1 says:

      ‘Inconceivable’ – I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

  27. MM says:

    How about that CPI print this morning…

  28. Depth Charge says:

    Surprised Wolf hasn’t done an article on the ugly CPI print.

    • MM says:

      I’m sure he’s working on it.

      10 year is now above 4.5%!!

    • SoCalBeachDude says:

      There was NOTHING ‘ugly’ or unexpected about it.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Sheesh, you’re impatient, Depth Charge. My CPI articles are very long (1,500 – 1,800 words) and have a gazillion charts, and I actually have to think about this stuff a little, and that takes a while. I don’t do this superficial headline stuff.

  29. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: Treasury yields test more November highs after hotter-than-expected CPI inflation report

    MW: Treasury’s $39 billion sale of 10-year notes goes poorly

    • MM says:

      Ya they ended the auction at >3bps above the coupon rate. Big tail. Bid to cover was a lot lower too.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        That’s not what I’m seeing. I’m seeing that the coupon was 4.0%, same as at the auction in the prior three months, but the yield was 4.56%, and the note sold at 95.59 cents on the dollar to produce that 4.56% yield, given the 4.0% coupon.

        In January, that issue sold with a coupon of 4.0% at a price of 99.7, giving it a yield of 4.1%. for the prior three auctions, the coupon was also 4.0%, and the price adjusted to produce the yield. That’s what I’m seeing.

  30. Merica Forever says:

    Wait, help a finance bro out here. The US housing market is short 7.2 million homes.

    Fueled by cheap loans and raging house inflation, landlords own 14 million single family rentals.

    It would seem the math is simple, and at least 50% of these landlords are renting to folks who would rather have bought.

    Seems like low interest rates have created a divide, since if half of these rentals hit the market, we would no longer have a housing shortage. And all housing would be more affordable.

    Oversimplified, yes… but roll up your sleeves and start fighting me on this.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “The US housing market is short 7.2 million homes”

      So that’s already wrong. There are 10 million vacant homes. That wrong thing is what you base your argument on. So I’m outa here.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Yes, that RE hype and lie has been heavily promoted by the RE industry. As you can see from the URL “PR News Wire” it was a PR piece (“public relations” = advertisement) written and paid for by “” printed in HUGE FONT right at the top of the ad 🤣🤣🤣🤣

          This is the kind of insidious hype-and-promo action that the RE industry engages in always every day every minute of every day – designed to be spread in order to support the spike in prices.

          And it includes sending its hype-and-promo trolls swarming all over this comment section, creating extra work for me because now I just dump this insidious garbage into the trash where they belong. If the RE industry wants to spread its insidious hype and promo via my site, they need to take out an ad and pay me for it. But they’re so cheap, they want me to do it for free, those chickenshits.

      • Merica Forever says:

        I am only talking single family homes.. from your stats, that is 8 million.

        But what is vacant? Arent these owned, but not rented? These are effectively supply that cannot be used. So 8 + 14 is 22 million homes owned by landlords, and off market.

        There is a lot of noise right now that there is a housing shortage, but I would disagree and suggest low interest rates have driven the wealthy to buy real estate as investments, making housing unaffordable.

  31. Em C says:

    Thanks for this article. I had been looking for this information for a long time.

  32. Kimm Warren says:

    A great article with useful market data, thank you Wolf.
    My observations about the macroeconomics suggests that the US transition from industrial and factory employment to service employment has a large impact upon the housing market in multiple ways. To bolster employment the Fed tinkers with interest rates, lower rates increases employment causing investment in housing which employs people up and down the supply chain providing the kick start government seeks. This system has begun to breakdown partially due to high wage scales, material costs and desirable land costs exceeding the ability of consumers to afford single family housing. Add to this the accelerating cost of government services, schools, transportation etc. causing local taxes to rise. We are caught in a difficult feedback loop here but so are other nations for different reasons. China’s manufacturing economy is now being challenged by India.

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