May 3, 2018

Institutional vs Individual Ownership of Rental Properties

Most single family and 2-4 unit rentals are owned by individuals rather than businesses.

I found the New York Times article "Mom and Pop Own Fewer Rental Units" from last summer and they had data for 2001 and 2015.    Here's a graphic from that article :

Source: New York Times

The chart shows the % of each rental size category that is owned by an "institutional investor".   
They list the 2015 Rental Housing Finance Survey as their source for the numbers.    Looking further into that data I find that they break down ownership into categories of "Individual Investor" and several different kind of business entities.   The lists includes : Trustee for estate,    LLP, LP or LLC ,    Tenant in common,    General partnership,    Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Real estate corporation,   Housing cooperative organization, Nonprofit organization,Other and Not reported.     I'm not sure how they split it up.    Its unclear how they decided which of those categories are "institutional investors" and which aren't.    For example an LLC might be some big hedge fund or it might be an individual.   In any case if we just look at the "Individual Investors" and then assume that anything else isn't an individual we still see that most properties in the  1-4 unit size are owned by individuals.

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