DivcoWest JV will plow $1B into single-family rentals

With Atlas Real Estate, platform targeting properties across West; may include build-to-rent

Atlas Real Estate CEO Tony Julianelle and DivcoWest CEO Stuart Shiff (Atlas, DivcoWest, iStock)
Atlas Real Estate CEO Tony Julianelle and DivcoWest CEO Stuart Shiff (Atlas, DivcoWest, iStock)

Add DivcoWest and Atlas Real Estate to the growing list of industry players moving into the single-family rental market.

The two firms have teamed up on a $1 billion platform to acquire single-family rental homes throughout the West, The Real Deal has learned. The venture will renovate and manage the properties and will target states across the region, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah.

Investment company DivcoWest, which primarily focuses on commercial properties, provided $250 million. Atlas CEO Tony Julianelle said the platform hopes to reach $1 billion over the next 18 to 24 months; it has already closed on its first acquisitions.

The firms are eyeing urban and suburban houses, with a plan to buy up existing homes from individual owners. The effort may also use funds for build-to-rent construction, Julianelle said. Denver-based Atlas, which provides property management and brokerage services, manages thousands of residential units across the West.

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Single-family rentals have become increasingly popular during the pandemic, allowing residents unable to afford a new home with more space and privacy, industry pros have said. And investors have been capitalizing on the trend.

Julianelle called single-family rentals an asset class that has “performed incredibly well through the pandemic, that’s a meaningful stress test.” He added, “the market was real before and it will continue to be real after, but the pandemic likely accelerated some of those realities.”

More than 50,000 rental homes have been built over the last year –– a big jump compared to the average over the last 40 years, according to a recent report.

Last month, homebuilder Lennar said it was launching a $4 billion platform to acquire single-family homes and townhomes. In the last year, traditional investment firms like JPMorgan Chase have also poured money into the single-family rental market.