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For-rent homes business model sees boost from COVID-19

Posted by   /  May 29, 2020  /  No Comments

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By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Darryl Berger’s business model of developing for-rent single-family subdivisions was born out of the Great Recession and its wave of foreclosures.

Now, Berger’s company, BB Living, is seeing a significant boost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Berger said March and April were two of the strongest months that BB Living has seen for tenants leasing single-family homes.

“It’s been very healthy,” Berger said during Rose Law Group’s New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch on Friday.

Berger said apartment tenants are looking for less density and more space with social distancing at the forefront of COVID-19. “There is an aversion to density. They don’t want walk folks living above or below them.” Berger said.

He said BB Living is also seeing prospective home buyers who may have canceled or are postponing purchases due to COVID looking at leasing a home.

BB Living has been developing for-rent homes in the Phoenix area and taking the business model to several additional markets. The idea was formed out of the Great Recession’s short sales and foreclosures and demand for single-family rentals.

Last year, Toll Brothers announced a $60 million investment in BB Living’s $400 million expansion.

The reopening of the Arizona economy and the continued impact of COVID-19 was the focus on the Rose Law Group virtual forum hosted by Jordan Rose and Court Rich.

Berger said the pandemic has prompted banks and lenders to at least temporarily pullback on financing and that will challenge some deals and businesses.

“The credit markets have completely frozen, The banks are just frozen,” he said.

Arizona has 18,465 COVID cases (including 702 new ones), 2,991 hospitalizations and 885 deaths.

Joshua Lewis, an emergency room physician, told the Rose Law Group forum that COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are up statewide as the economy reopens.

“Our ICUs are 80 to 90 percent full across the state,” Lewis said. He said that was expected as more people are back out. Lewis said people just need to take appropriate social distancing precautions.

He also hospitals are starting to see patients come back to emergency rooms for other ailments. Many patients have been avoiding hospitals and other medical visits because of Coronavirus fears.

“Patients are feeling more comfortable coming to the ER,” Lewis said.

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