Blackstone to acquire single-family rental firm for $6B

Rent-to-own specialist Home Partners of America has over 17K homes in the US

Blackstone CEO Jon Gray and Home Partners of America CEO Bill Young (Blackstone, Owler)
Blackstone CEO Jon Gray and Home Partners of America CEO Bill Young (Blackstone, Owler)

Blackstone is once again going all-in on the single family rental market.

The investment giant has agreed to acquire Home Partners of America, owner of more than 17,000 homes across the U.S., for $6 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

In a hot suburban market, investment in single-family rentals has boomed during the pandemic. Demand for rentals has accelerated as the rising costs of single-family homes renders buying unaffordable for many Americans.

Home Partners specializes in rent-to-own programs, in which tenants sign initial leases but can eventually purchase the home at any time for a predetermined price.

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Blackstone previously invested in the single-family rental space after the great recession by purchasing homes at distressed prices and renting them out through a company called Invitation Homes.

The investment firm sold its remaining shares of Invitation Homes and exited the space in 2019. But last year, the company jumped back in, by investing $240 million for a preferred equity stake in Toronto-based single-family rental firm Tricon Residential, according to the Journal.

The single-family rental business has faced criticism from housing advocates for driving up the costs of homes and pricing local bidders out of the market. A 2016 analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta determined that Wall Street landlords are significantly more likely to file eviction notices than mom-and-pop landlords.

Single-family rental firms, however, say they are increasing housing options for Americans.

[WSJ] — Keith Larsen