Institutional investors look to cash out of South Florida rentals

Big players sitting on inventory of nearly 13,000 homes
December 22, 2014 10:30AM

From left: RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist and Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman

When South Florida’s market hit rock bottom, institutional investors pounced, buying as many foreclosed and short sale homes as possible.

From January 2012 through August 2014 major institutional investors purchased 12,952 single-family homes, a study showed. That made South Florida No. 2 in the U.S. in purchases. Now, these investors are the biggest sellers in the area.

Even though institutional investors have been turning sizable profits renting out homes, rising home values have boosted home equity by 31 percent — a combined $611 million. That boost has given these investors more incentive to sell, according to RealtyTrac.

Selling has been slow, however.  Home purchases dropped dramatically in 2014 compared to 2013.

According to the report, the largest owners of South Florida homes are the Blackstone Group (735) and Colony American Homes (638). Their equity gains grew 10 percent and 27 percent, respectively. [South Florida Business Journal] — Kristina Puga