Category Archives: Investing

International home buying is absolutely booming in Texas

International homebuyers are flocking to Texas and buying up Lone Star State homes in droves, a new report from the Texas Association of Realtors shows.

In fact, the report shows that over the last year, the amount of money spent by foreign buyers on homes in Texas is nearly double what it was in the previous year.

The new report from the Texas Association of Realtors, called the Texas International Homebuyers Report, covers the time period from April 2016 through March 2017.

During that time, foreign buyers accounted for $18.66 billion in home sales in Texas, up sharply from $10.2 billion during the report’s previous period, from April 2015 through March 2016. That’s an increase of nearly 83%.

Overall, the nationwide dollar amount in home sales from foreign buyers was also up significantly, but not by as much as Texas.

Nationwide, foreign buyers accounted for $153 billion in home sales in the time period from April 2016 through March 2017, an increase of 49% from the previous time period.

Additionally, the report showed that there were 34,135 international home sales in Texas between April 2016 and March 2017, a 59% increase from the same time frame last year.

Nationally, the number of homes purchased by international buyers jumped to 284,455 sales, an increase of 32%.

According to the report, Texas tied with California for second in the nation behind Florida in international home sales, with Texas’ share of international home sales making up 12% of the 284,455 international home sales nationwide.

Breaking down where the international buyers are coming from, the report showed that 40% of the international buyers came from Latin America, which includes Mexico.

In fact, Texas had the highest volume of homebuyers from Mexico of any state from April 2016 to March 2017, with 43% of Mexican homebuyers who purchased a home in the U.S. buying in Texas.

Additionally, buyers from what the report calls the “Asia/Oceania” region, which includes China and India, made up 39% of the international home buying activity in Texas.

As for the reasons behind the increase in international home buying in 2016-2017, Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said that it’s not one thing driving foreign buyers to Texas. Rather, it’s a combination of factors.

“This surge in international home sales activity underscores the growing reputation Texas has as a global destination for owning a home or investment property,” Fullerton said. “The state’s low unemployment, diverse industry base and world class higher education institutions are just some of the reasons why international residents seek to attend college, raise a family or do business in Texas.”

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/41004-international-home-buying-is-absolutely-booming-in-texas

Invitation Homes, Starwood Waypoint Homes to merge; create nation’s largest single-family landlord

Three years ago, the nation’s four largest operators of single-family rental homes joined together to form the National Rental Home Council, a trade group that focused on increasing education about the professionally managed single-family rental industry and advocating for the benefits of the rental market.

The founding members of the group were Colony American Homes, Invitation Homes, American Homes 4 Rent, and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust.

Now, thanks to a series of consolidations, that big four is about to be a big two.

Since 2014, the single-family rental industry went through a period of transition.

Most notable during that time was when Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust merged with Colony American Homes two years ago to form Colony Starwood Homes and created a single-family rental giant.

Now, just 41 months later, the industry is about to see its largest consolidation yet, as two of the remaining big three are about to merge to form a company that will be the nation’s largest single-family rental landlord, by a wide margin.

Now, just 41 months later, the industry is about to see its largest consolidation yet, as two of the remaining big three are about to merge to form a company that will be the nation’s largest single-family rental landlord by a wide margin.

On Thursday, Invitation Homes and Starwood Waypoint Homes, which is the new name for Colony Starwood Homes, announced plans to merge.

Invitation Homes owns and operates nearly 50,000 rental homes in 13 major markets: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Northern California, Orlando, Phoenix, Seattle, Southern California, South Florida, Tampa, while Starwood Waypoint Homes’ portfolio of rental homes is roughly 32,000.

That means the combined company will own and operate approximately 82,000 single-family rental homes, with an average of 4,800 homes per market.

In a joint release, the companies said that the deal is a 100% stock-for-stock merger-of-equals transaction. Upon completion of the deal, the combined company will operate as Invitation Homes.

In the release, the companies say that merging will allow them to “bring together the best practices, technology, and personnel from both firms to create the premier single-family rental company” in the country.

Additionally, the companies said that the merger “will produce a company with an unparalleled ability to deliver enhanced service offerings to residents more efficiently, continue investing in local communities, and generate substantial value for stockholders.”

The stockholder portion of the deal is significant, as Invitation Homes went public earlier this year, raising more than $1.5 billion in its initial public offering.

Prior to going public, Invitation Homes functioned as Blackstone Group’s single-family rental operator, and Blackstone is still Invitation Homes’ majority shareholder.

Under the terms of the deal, each Starwood Waypoint Homes share will be converted into 1.614 Invitation Homes’ shares, based on a fixed exchange ratio, the companies said.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Invitation Homes’ current shareholders will own approximately 59% of the combined company’s stock, while Starwood Waypoint Homes’ stockholders will own approximately 41% of the company’s stock.

Based on the closing prices of Starwood Waypoint Homes’ common shares and Invitation Homes’ common stock on Aug. 9, 2017, the companies say that the equity market capitalization of the combined company would be approximately $11 billion and the total enterprise value (including debt) would be approximately $20 billion.

Upon completion of the deal, the combined company’s shares are expected to continue trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol for Invitation Homes (INVH). Starwood Waypoint currently trades under the symbol “SFR.”

The deal is the latest development in an industry that’s seen some big shakeups in the last few years.

As stated above, Starwood Waypoint Homes was previously known as Colony Starwood Homes.

Just last month, the company announced that it was rebranding as Starwood Waypoint Homes, which reflected the sale in March by Colony NorthStar, Inc. and affiliates of Colony Capital, LLC of their entire remaining ownership stake in the company.

That company was formed by combining Colony American Homes, which was founded in 2012 to serve as Colony Capital’s single-family rental arm, with Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust.

Last year, Colony Starwood Homes exited the non-performing loans business, selling off 1,675 non-performing loans for $265 million, and stating that it planned to focus on single-family rental homes instead.

The company grew its portfolio earlier this year by agreeing to buy 3,106 single-family rental homes from GI Partners, a private investment firm based in San Francisco, for $815 million.

Now, the newly combined company will have more than 80,000 rental homes in its portfolio.

In its release, the combined company notes that while its portfolio will make it the largest single-family rental company in the country, its portfolio still represents “less than 0.1% of the more than 90 million single-family homes in the United States, and just 0.5% of the nearly 16 million single-family homes for rent in the United States.”

According to the two companies’ executives, the new Invitation Homes has plans to grow even more.

“This merger creates the leading single-family rental company in the United States, which will be uniquely positioned to deliver exceptional service to residents, while also improving operating efficiency. That is a win-win for both residents and stockholders,” Fred Tuomi, chief executive officer of Starwood Waypoint Home, said.

“We will have an irreplaceable portfolio of homes focused in select high-growth markets, offering unrivaled service and high-quality housing options for families choosing to rent,” Tuomi added. “We have great admiration for Invitation Homes and its talented team, and look forward to embarking on an exciting new chapter together.”

John Bartling, president and CEO of Invitation Homes, shared in Tuomi’s enthusiasm.

“By joining forces, the combined company will be in an even stronger position to serve residents and investors,” Bartling said. “By bringing together these two world-class organizations, Invitation Homes will continue building on its industry-leading operational capabilities and resident-centric approach – while also providing enhanced liquidity to stockholders.”

The companies note that the deal is not completed yet, but has been unanimously approved by the boards of both Starwood Waypoint Homes and Invitation Homes.

The companies expect the deal close by the end of 2017.

Upon completion of the deal, Fred Tuomi, chief executive officer of Starwood Waypoint Homes, will become CEO of Invitation Homes; Ernie Freedman, chief financial officer of Invitation Homes, will remain CFO; Charles Young, chief operating officer of Starwood Waypoint Homes, will become COO; and Dallas Tanner, chief investment officer of Invitation Homes, will remain CIO.

The combined company will be headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and will maintain a presence in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The companies note that they have “very similar” portfolios of homes focused on “overlapping, strategically selected, high-growth markets.”

The companies have nearly identical average monthly rents and nearly 70% of the companies’ revenues come from the Western part of the U.S. and Florida.

“The combined portfolio would also have an average of 4,800 homes per market, allowing it to leverage economies of scale and improve operating efficiency, while also enhancing customer service,” the companies said.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40970-invitation-homes-starwood-waypoint-homes-to-merge-create-nations-largest-single-family-landlord

CoreLogic finalizes acquisition of Mercury Network

CoreLogic’s acquisition of Mercury Network is now complete.

Back in June, CoreLogic announced that it planned to acquire Mercury Network, a purchase valuation technology and appraisal management platform provider, from Serent Capital.

When CoreLogic announced the Mercury Network deal back in June, the company said that it already acquired a 45% passive minority stake in Mercury Network and planned to purchase the remaining 55% later this year.

As it turns out, “later this year” turned out to be August 10th.

CoreLogic announced Thursday that it closed on the acquisition of Mercury Network, buying the remaining 55% of the company for an undisclosed sum.

Last month, CoreLogic provided a peak at how much it was paying to acquire Mercury Network, disclosing that it paid $70 million for its 45% stake in Mercury Network.

Based on that price, that would place the total purchase price for Mercury Network at approximately $155.5 million, although CoreLogic did not detail the full cost, either back in June or in Thursday’s release.

The deal was the latest in string of appraisal-related acquisitions for CoreLogic in the last few years, including buying LandSafe Appraisal ServicesFNC, and RELS for a total purchase price of approximately $587 million.

Mercury Network has also grown recently, especially after Serent Capital bought Mercury Network from a la mode back in 2015.

Since then, Mercury Network acquired Platinum Data Solutions, a QC technology company, in 2016, and announced plans to acquire Appraisal Scope, a provider of valuation management software, earlier this year.

Mercury Network currently helps manage the collateral valuation operations of more than 800 small and medium-sized mortgage lenders and appraisal management companies.

In a release, CoreLogic said that it plans to continue to offer Mercury Network’s technology platforms and related services to lenders and AMCs, while also bringing the company’s data and analytics capabilities to Mercury’s existing customers.

“We are very excited to bring the Mercury Network team into the CoreLogic family. The acquisition of Mercury Network is a significant step in advancing our valuation solutions capabilities,” Frank Martell, CoreLogic’s president and CEO, said.

“It complements our leading FNC platform which today serves over 100 major lenders. Together, Mercury and FNC valuation platforms allow CoreLogic to provide unmatched content, analytics and workflow solutions to over 900 lenders and appraisal management companies and 80,000 appraisal, title and property inspection professionals,” Martell added. “Our valuation platform business is now a scaled, high-growth and high-margin business and a foundational element of our strategy to transform the valuations space in the U.S.”

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40973-corelogic-finalizes-acquisition-of-mercury-network

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