Fannie’s Hayward talks about rents, renters

Fannie Mae executive vice president Jeff Hayward recently spoke to Apartment Finance Today to discuss the GSE’s business and perceptions of the housing industry, with a focus on rentals.

Hayward told AFT that he does not see the government’s program to convert real estate-owned properties into rentals as competing with multifamily business, suggesting that the two are separate and complementary. According to him, the Americans who want to rent single-family homes are not necessarily the same ones who might otherwise live in apartments.

Instead, he notes that REO programs and single-family rentals may appeal to larger families who might find most apartments to cramped. Another possibility is that those who would prefer to own a home but cannot currently afford such a purchase will choose renting as a compromise or intermediate step towards homeownership.

This line of thought may indicate specific demographics that owners and rental managers should seek to court and focus on when offering rental homes. Hayward also stated that rent increases and appreciation may soon hit their practical limits despite strong fundamentals, which agrees with predictions by some experts who say that limited wage growth will hold back rents.