Front Yard Residential Corp. just picked up 325 single-family rental homes throughout Broward County for $25.4 million.
The deal is part of its $485 million acquisition of property manager HavenBrook and the 3,236 homes nationwide under its management, and expands Front Yard’s portfolio to 15,000 homes.
Front Yard, based in Christiansted, St. Croix, financed the deal with a $508.7 million loan from Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, which also covers some industrial properties, according to a release issued by the company.
In 2014, Front Yard (formerly known as Altisource Residential) was involved in an investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services in regard to its relationship with Ocwen Financial and an alleged scheme to secure servicing rights and foreclose on homeowners. Ultimately, Ocwen’s founder, William Erbey, was forced to resign from his position and was fined $150 million.
Front Yard, a real estate investment trust, joins a number of other REITs that are turning their focus to the multifamily and rental home markets, at a time when more Americans are steering away from home ownership and into renting.
In March, private equity firm Electra America launched a $300 million fund focused on multifamily investment. And just last month, New York-based Cerberus Capital Management bought 200 rental homes in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties for $47 million.
Front Yard has also previously completed deals with Amherst Holdings, which paid $25.7 million for a portfolio of single-family rental homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties in January. In 2016, Front Yard bought a portfolio of 4,262 single-family rental properties from Amherst for about $652.3 million.