Rental securities market to hit $5B in 2014

With home ownership tumbling, institutional investors going where the money is
February 20, 2014 02:09PM

As home-ownership rates tumble and rental market activity ticks up, institutional investors are following them — driving up the demand for home rental securities.

The market is predicted to hit $5 billion this year, according to a study by lender, investor and servicer trade association CRE Finance Council. The rise in renter households has outpaced home ownership by a factor of ten, while the number of owner households is in its seventh year of decline.

“It’s a function of pricing and mortgage rates, and it’s having a severe impact at many economic levels,” Stephen Renna, CREFC president and CEO, said in a release. “This includes recent graduates who enter the workforce saddled with heavy college debt. Such restrictions on home ownership, however, bode well for the rental market, and for the natural growth of securitizations within that space.”

Blackstone Group, far and away the most active in snapping up rental properties and investing capital, was the first to kick off a single-family rental-backed offering dubbed Invitation Homes 2013-SFR1, shopped by Deutsche Bank, late last year. American Homes 4 Rent followed suit three months later, tapping Goldman Sachs to arrange the sale of its similarly styled securities.

“We estimate that institutional investors have purchased 90,000 homes around the country over the last year or two at a cost of just over $15 billion,” Renna said in the release, adding that the figure is rapidly increasing monthly.– Julie Strickland