Blackstone slows home-buying binge

|About: The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX)|By:, SA News Editor

Blackstone's (BX) acquisition pace has slowed 70% from its peak last year when it was spending $100M per week on properties, says Jon Gray, the P-E firm's global head of real estate. After investing $8B to since April 2012 to buy 43K homes in 14 cities, Blackstone has narrowed most of its purchasing to Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.

"The institutional wave has passed," says Gray.

American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) and Colony American Homes (CLNY, CAHS) have also slowed their purchase pace as bargains dry up. Now comes the difficult business of trying to manage massive stables of single family properties.

Gray, meanwhile, discounts the popular narrative of all this institutional buying driving prices higher, noting it represents a minor percentage of all purchases.

Not everyone is slowing down: "We've been ramping up acquisitions," Silver Bay Realty (SBY) CEO David Miller said in last week's earnings call (transcript).