Average retention rates of expiring leases among single-borrower, single-family rental securitizations remained strong in September 2017, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings’ latest Single-Family Rental Research. The retention rate on full-term leases climbed to 76.3 percent in September, up from a revised 74.6 percent for August 2017. Of the single-family, single-borrower securitizations monitored by Morningstar, only three posted a retention rate below 70 percent. That’s half as many as in August’s total of six. Moreover, seven deals posted retention rates above 80 percent, as opposed to four in August. Rents themselves rose 2.9 percent in October. All of this amounts to good news for rental investors.
The overall turnover over those two months, dipping from 3.9 percent in August to 3.2 percent in September. According to Morningstar, “vacancies for single-family rentals tend to decline in the late autumn and winter months.” October 2017 bucked that trend, with the average vacancy rate remained stable at 5.9 percent.
The Houston metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had the highest vacancy rate at 10.0 percent—the first single-family MSA in 2017 to hit a vacancy rate of 10.0 percent or higher. For comparison’s sake, the next highest MSA vacancy rate was Nashville, Tennessee, at 7.6 percent. According to Morningstar, “While Hurricane Irma appears to have little to no impact on the Florida single-family rental markets, Hurricane Harvey may have contributed to the increase in vacancies and decline in rents in the Houston market.” Houston rents declined for two consecutive months, dropping by 0.4 percent in October and 0.8 percent in September.
Lease expirations were up slightly for the month, hitting 6.5 percent for October, compared to a revised 6.3 percent in September and 9.0 percent in July.
The average delinquency rate increased slightly for October, landing at 0.9 percent.