2020 State of the U.S. Housing Market: Identifying Investment Opportunities in Rental Housing


Hailey Ghalib, AIA
Executive Managing Director, Portfolio Management & Development

John Kirk, CAIA, CCIM
Senior Director

Mark Fitzgerald, CFA, CAIA
Senior Director, Research

Will McIntosh, Ph.D
Global Head of Research

Amended August 2020

Investment Thesis

Evolving rental housing needs among a broad demographic coalition combined with inadequate housing supply has given rise to enduring investment opportunities across the rental housing spectrum (e.g., Multifamily, Senior, Workforce, and Single-Family Rental) that should persist for years to come.

This paper will evaluate investment conditions across the previously mentioned rental housing sectors, focusing on the long-term outlook, demand drivers, and developing trends that will likely impact the broader housing market going forward. It will conclude by identifying a prudent approach for capturing the opportunity across U.S. rental housing sectors.

Executive Summary

USAA Real Estate is closely monitoring critical indicators to evaluate COVID-19’s impact on property fundamentals and financial markets. Indeed, the effect on employment has been severe, and it will take some time before the full extent of the damage to the economy is revealed. However, this crisis has reinforced our belief that U.S. rental housing offers an attractive long-term investment opportunity. We believe a flexible strategy capable of capturing value across the rental housing spectrum (through development and acquisitions) remains an effective response to emerging and changing opportunities during both the current and future economic cycles, as highlighted in the following: