Other IPOs may be getting the headlines, but another group of IPOs may serve to reshape housing in the United States -- making them a potentially more far-reaching investment play: single-family home REITs. This new class of REIT was the subject of some analysis at Barron's recently, which only tepidly endorsed them:

REITs are prized for their dividend payments, but the single-family ones aren't yet profitable enough to produce much income. Silver Bay pays only a negligible dividend of a penny per share each quarter and the other two pay nothing. A comparison of their property prices and rents would seem to bode well for future dividend payments. Average house prices in their portfolios range from about $117,000 to $167,000 and average monthly rents from $1,148 to $1,355.

Three players in the space have gone public recently: Silver Bay Realty Trust (SBY) in Dec. 2012; American Residential Properties (ARPI) in May; and American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) in July.

Two others, Waypoint Homes and Colony American Homes, have filed for IPOs but have yet to complete their offering. And Blackstone Group (BX) has its own unit Invitation Homes, which is the nation's largest such landlord -- but thus far, the investment manager has indicated no plans to spin the company off.