The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD recently released the new 2012 Rental Housing Finance Survey, which provides a more complete picture of the nation’s multifamily rental properties, including data on property values, how their mortgages are financed, and characteristics of the structures. More specifically, this new survey builds on previously known information and collects data on property values of residential structures, characteristics of residential structures, rental status and rental value of units within the residential structures, commercial use of space within residential structures, property management status, ownership status, a detailed assessment of mortgage financing, and benefits received from Federal, state, local, and non-governmental programs. Major findings from the survey include:

  • There are 2.3 million multifamily properties in the United States.
  • 73 percent are just one building while 4 percent have 20 or more buildings on the property.  In multifamily rental properties with 50 or more units, 45 percent have 20 or more buildings.
  • 77 percent provide parking.
  • 19 percent contain buildings built prior to 1920.
  • 67 percent are owned by households or individuals.
  • 70 percent are managed day-to-day by the owner or an unpaid agent such as a family member.
  • 54 percent of two to four unit multifamily rental properties have a mortgage compared to 85 percent of properties with over 50 units.
  • 73 percent were acquired by their owners prior to 2005.
  • 87 percent of multifamily properties owners reported making repairs to their housing units; the median cost of repairs was $699 per housing unit in 2011.
  • 69 percent of all multifamily rental property owners reported making capital improvements to their properties in 2010 or 2011; then median cost of capital repairs was $1,167 per housing unit.

With these data, HUD hopes to gain a better understanding of multifamily rental loan origination volumes, property characteristics associated with these originations, and operating cost and revenue characteristics for the multifamily rental properties. Agency staff also hopes that the survey will play an important role in assisting the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) with setting affordable housing goals for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and to develop standards for underwriting multifamily mortgages.

Click here to learn more about the Rental Housing Finance Survey./