Blackstone is once again going all-in on the single family rental market.
The investment giant has agreed to acquire Home Partners of America, owner of more than 17,000 homes across the U.S., for $6 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
In a hot suburban market, investment in single-family rentals has boomed during the pandemic. Demand for rentals has accelerated as the rising costs of single-family homes renders buying unaffordable for many Americans.
Home Partners specializes in rent-to-own programs, in which tenants sign initial leases but can eventually purchase the home at any time for a predetermined price.
Blackstone previously invested in the single-family rental space after the great recession by purchasing homes at distressed prices and renting them out through a company called Invitation Homes.
The investment firm sold its remaining shares of Invitation Homes and exited the space in 2019. But last year, the company jumped back in, by investing $240 million for a preferred equity stake in Toronto-based single-family rental firm Tricon Residential, according to the Journal.
The single-family rental business has faced criticism from housing advocates for driving up the costs of homes and pricing local bidders out of the market. A 2016 analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta determined that Wall Street landlords are significantly more likely to file eviction notices than mom-and-pop landlords.
Single-family rental firms, however, say they are increasing housing options for Americans.[WSJ] — Keith Larsen