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Single Family Rentals is attracting attention from investors who want to go beyond being owners of rental portfolios and be in the business of SFR.

On January 1, OwnAmerica released its next generation private trading platform. The firm has quietly traded over $420M in SFR assets over the last three years, and closed over $27M in the beta phase of the new platform.

The operative term is quietly. “The largest and most professional owners of single family rentals do not want their properties ‘on the market’. They don’t want their competitors or their tenants to know they have plans to exit,” said Greg Rand, CEO of OwnAmerica. “It’s an interesting paradox; make a market for a product, but don’t broadcast it widely.”

Since 2012, when financial institutions began making large-scale investments in single family rental homes, the space has been validated by no fewer than 17 institutional investors acquiring and managing over 170,000 rental homes. Further validation of SFR includes $13 billion in securitizations, 5 REIT IPOs and a slew of new mortgage companies targeting small and mid-sized SFR investors.

Now the business of SFR is in the spotlight. The effort is underway to turn 15 million rental homes that house 12 percent of the US population from a fragmented cottage industry to a streamlined, technology enhanced market.

Noteworthy benchmarks that were achieved in 2015 include Altisource’s (ASPS) acquisition of RentRange and Investability, the funding and launch of Roofstock, and the proof of concept achieved by HomeUnion. All of which are new players in the field of SFR FinTech.

OwnAmerica’s focus is on Stabilized Portfolios, or packages of single family rentals with management and tenants in place. The company’s average transaction consists of 48 SFR units with a value of $6M. With the release of the newest version of their private trading platform, the company’s focus is on activating new sources of capital into the SFR space. “The early adopters in SFR investment have paved the way for the next phase; core asset investors who prioritize capital preservation, a reasonable yield, and safety. Single family homes are a great story. Everyone understands the value in owning shelter over families.”

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