According to Bloomberg, Blackstone Group (BX) spent the past two years building its empire of single-family rental homes, spending $7.5 billion to acquire 40,000 houses. Now, the private-equity firm is planning to sell bonds backed by lease payments, which is a step in a new direction for the housing industry.

Deutsche Bank AG may start marketing almost $500 million of the securities as soon as this week, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. The debt will include a portion with an investment grade from at least one ratings company, according to two separate people, who asked not to be identified because the deal isn’t public.

Blackstone has led hedge funds, private-equity firms and real estate investment trusts raising about $20 billion to purchase as many as 200,000 homes to rent after prices plunged 35 percent from the 2006 peak.

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