Blackstone Agrees to Acquire Single-Family Rental Company for $6B

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.

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

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