The Real Deal New York

Blackstone Group to dial back rental buying binge

Acquisition pace slows by 70%; "institutional wave has passed"
March 14, 2014 08:05AM

Blackstone Group is preparing to hit the brakes on buying homes to rent as its acquisition pace has already plummeted by 70 percent from the private equity firm’s peak last year.

The firm had been on a tear, snatching up enough properties to render it the largest single-family home landlord in the U.S. — ahead of American Homes 4 Rent and Colony American Homes. Blackstone spent $8 billion to purchase 43,000 houses across 14 cities over the last two years. At one point last year, it was investing at least $100 million per week. But the sky-high prices have led Blackstone to take a step back.

“The institutional wave has passed,” Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s global chief, told Bloomberg News. “It’s at a much lower level than it was 12 or 24 months ago.”

Gray said last month the firm plans to invest more in international markets such as China, India and Brazil, as previously reported. [Bloomberg News]Mark Maurer