America’s Largest Landlord Adds $1 Billion for Its House Hunt

Real-estate investors have a mountain of money looking for a home. Lately a lot of it is ending up in suburban single-family houses.

Invitation Homes Inc., the country’s largest rental-home owner, on Wednesday disclosed a joint venture with Boston property investor Rockpoint Group LLC that will result in more than $1 billion for the landlord’s ongoing house hunt.

Invitation, which owns about 80,000 houses, has been buying at a clip of roughly $200 million a quarter since a pause at the onset of the coronavirus lockdown. It sold $448 million of new shares in June to fuel its expansion, and the agreement with Rockpoint will add enough cash to buy about 3,500 more homes, said Dallas Tanner, Invitation’s chief executive.

It is the latest example of cash flowing from large money managers to single-family-rental companies. Financiers created the companies a decade ago to buy foreclosed homes by the thousand following the financial crisis.

The pandemic has sent Americans rushing to the suburbs in search of a lawn, room for home offices and distance from neighbors. Landlords including Invitation and American Homes 4 Rent have reported record occupancy and rising rents despite widespread job loss and economic upheaval, which have clouded the future of more-traditional investment properties such as office towers, shopping malls and hotels.

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