Monday, December 03, 2012

Speculators buying up homes for rentals


According to one of our resident real estate folks, this group of speculators has purchased the home at the entrance of Lake Sarasota - on the right on Mauna Loa as one is exiting Lake Sarasota onto Bee Ridge:




The Blackstone Group and its partners have bought another 39 rental homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties. (Shutterstock photo)
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.
During the past three weeks, the Blackstone Group and its partners have bought another 39 rental homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
The company and its subsidiaries paid $3.5 million, or an average of $117,300 per house, for 31 houses in Sarasota. Blackstone and its partners paid another $1.65 million, or an average of $207,000 per house, for eight properties in Manatee, records show.
That brings the total number of houses purchased in the two counties by Blackstone and its partners to 76 since the beginning of October.
All the buying has been done through THR Florida LLC, a subsidiary of a Dallas-based apartment rental management company Riverstone Residential Group, records show.
People who have talked to principals at Riverstone said buying was about to start in Charlotte County, too.
So far no sales have turned up in the court records, at least not through THR Florida LLC.
All the deals in this region are part of an $80 million buying spree in 11 Florida counties.
Brokers who have worked with the company say that Blackstone wants to "a couple hundred" homes in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.
Blackstone -- the world's largest real estate private equity firm, managing $54 billion -- intends to convert the single-family homes it acquires into income-producing rentals, then reportedly package them into real estate investment trusts to sell to investors.
The New York company is frustrating some Realtors who have been seeking additional inventory or who have been competing with Blackstone for distressed properties that are being auctioned.
Blackstone's sudden presence in Southwest Florida represents the latest in a bullish push nationwide into real estate of all kinds. For years now, market observers have wondered when the so-called "smart money" would move into a region battered by the Great Recession. The downturn pushed properties of nearly every variety down as much as 50 percent in value.

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