“The implication is that rental demand would be waning,” says Blomquist.

However, homeownership might not create as much competition for rental housing operators in 2018. The reform of the federal tax code, passed by Congress at the end of 2017, cut deeply into the tax incentive to buy a home. “One impact of the new tax bill may be increased demand for renting,” says Roofstock’s Beasley.

The number of single-family homes that are available for rent rose 19.5 million in November 2017, up from 19.1 million just six months before, according to Attom.

How did the number of SFRs increase in 2017, at the same time as the number of foreclosures has shrunk and the number of homeowners increased? “Some of the 2.0 percent increase we saw in 2017 comes from developers building new homes as rentals,” says Blomquist. “We believe this will likely be a growing trend in 2018.”