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Real Estate

Atlas, DivcoWest prepare $1B single-family rental venture

The partnership comes amid both a historic housing shortage, and the entry of more corporate landlords

Another partnership of asset management giants has announced a major investment in single-family rental homes.

Atlas Real Estate and DivcoWest declared last week that they will spend $1 billion “acquiring and renovating homes in high-growth states including Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah,” according to a press release. The companies entered into a joint venture that puts $250 million of equity into single-family rental homes.

The move aligns with the current portfolio of Atlas Real Estate, a Denver-based company that reports managing more than 4,200 housing units in the aforementioned Mountain states. But for DivcoWest the single-family rental markets represents a shift from the San Francisco company’s general focus on office, retail, industrial, and multifamily spaces.

The joint venture announcement comes one month after homebuilding giant Lennar Corporation unveiled a new business, Upward America Venture, that plans to spend $4 billion on new single-family homes, fueled by a $1.25 billion equity infusion from investors including Centerbridge and Allianz Real Estate.

Also, less than a year ago JPMorgan Chase pledged $625 million to American Homes 4 Rent for construction of 2,500 single-family rentals in the Southeast and West.

These company’s plans to build or refurbish, and then rent single-family homes comes amid a sharply imbalanced housing market in which supply is not meeting demand. The record sales numbers of last fall have now been eclipsed by a story of free falling inventory. Total homes sales have been down in the U.S. for the last two months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But while demand for single-family homes is greater than ever, a historic shortage in lumber is ratcheting up homebuilding prices.

Atlas’s CEO Tony Julianelle said in a statement that, “The joint venture will function to increase the inventory of single-family rentals in Atlas managed markets,” and will help “meet the supply demands by providing high quality housing.”

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