After gorging on subprime mortgages 10 years ago, Wall Street is investing in the U.S. housing market again — this time by snatching up homes. Investment banks, private-equity firms and hedge funds are turning to a variety of financial vehicles and building the technology to become the largest buyers of most Americans’ biggest asset.
Invitation Homes — a real estate investment firm that owns close to 50,000 single-family rental homes — has raised $1.54 billion in its initial public offering, with the company’s valuation rising to over $6 billion today, according to media reports.
The government has begun subsidizing the institutionalized single-family rental market, signaling an endorsement of Wall Street’s buy-to-rent housing bet as homeownership lags.
After purchasing tens of thousands of homes at post-recession prices, Blackstone Group LP — the biggest U.S. single-family home landlord — is taking Invitation Homes, its single-family rental unit, public.