Just over a year ago, institutional purchases of single-family houses to turn into SFR properties was well into double-digit percentages of all homes bought, coming close to 20% of ongoing sales. And, as the firm separately noted, 43% of real estate agents think private pocket listings have become more common. Such purchases are a tool used by institutional investors interested in blocks of houses.

According to a new report from Moody's Analytics, such pressure might resume, but the dynamics are getting complex. While saying the SFR REIT market is "maturing but still relatively untested," the firm provides data of some significant growth. Institutional owners make up 3% of the total single-family rental market in the U.S., but that share is growing fast and also varies widely by metro area.

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