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Blackstone sells $1B stake in single-family rental business amid high pricing

Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman

Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman

Blackstone Group has sold off another chunk of its ownership in its suburban home rental company Invitation Homes, unloading the stock when shares are on the upswing.

The private equity firm behemoth sold $1 billion worth of shares in the Dallas-based company, lowering its total holdings in the company to 27 percent from 34 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Blackstone sold off $1 billion in Invitation Homes shares in March. Invitation Homes shares are trading at all-time highs in terms of volume and price. The company’s main rival, American Homes 4 Rent, has also performed well this year.

Blackstone founded Invitation Homes following the financial crisis, scooping up suburban homes for cheap at the bottom of the market to rent to people who could no longer afford a mortgage. The company now manages 80,000 properties in 17 markets around the United States.

Blackstone took the company public in 2017 at $20 per share. Shares were trading early Thursday afternoon for around $25.70.

Smaller investors have also got in on the single-family rental game and overall, investment in the sector is strong. In 2017, it was a boom year for the industry. Investors bought 29,000 homes to rent that year but buying has since slowed because of high pricing for homes around the country.

Still, some investors are ramping up their operations. Amherst Residential has spent $404 million on 2,400 homes to rent since October and plans to buy another 10,000 homes this year. [WSJ]Dennis Lynch 

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