Camden Property Trust’s $155M leap into build-to-rent

The investment firm known for luxury apartment communities is developing two single family projects in the Houston suburbs

Camden Property Trust's Ric Campo with 5300 Berkeley Knoll Circle and 1840 Woodland Field Crossing
Camden Property Trust's Ric Campo with 5300 Berkeley Knoll Circle and 1840 Woodland Field Crossing (Apartments, Houston)

Camden Property Trust, a national powerhouse in the multifamily market, is investing an estimated $155 million in single-family rentals, building 400 new homes across two communities in the Houston suburbs.

Camden Long Meadow Farms, a 200-home, build-to-rent community, is being constructed at 5300 Berkeley Knoll Circle in Richmond, south of Houston for $80 million, or $400,000 per home, according to a Camden investor presentation. The community will be part of Grand Center at Long Meadow Farms, a 58-acre master-planned community under development by CJ Development.

Camden is also constructing another 189-home single-family community called Camden Woodmill Creek for $75 million, or $397,000 per home, at 1840 Woodland Field Crossing in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The two projects are Camden’s first ventures into the single-family rental market.

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The publicly traded investment company boasts over 165 multifamily communities across the U.S. totaling over 59,000 units, according to its website. The firm is based in Houston and owns more than 9,000 apartment units across Space City.

Despite concerns over rising interest rates and a potential looming recession, Camden CEO Ric Campo told investors during a recent Q3 earnings call that the two new build-to-rent communities go well with the firm’s more regular multifamily investments.

“That is an opportunity for us to really understand that market and learn that market, we think it’s really compatible with the multifamily business,” Campo said. “Houston is really well positioned over the next few years. It is the number one exporter of energy in the country. Houston will have more gas in its tank than other markets in a recession.” Campo did say the company is taking a break on asset acquisition until Q1 of 2023 as it takes a wait-and-see approach on rising interest rates. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate sits at 7.5 percent as of Dec. 6.

Houston’s rental market has a good chance to continue rising because the city is uniquely positioned with consistent job growth due to its huge energy production sector, executives said during the earnings call.

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