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Banks back foreclosure-to-rental

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, September 21, 2012
Posted: 9 am ET

The foreclosure-to rental market continues to flourish, with major investors sweeping up foreclosed homes and turning them into profitable rentals. Banks are backing that effort by lending to well-established investors. The Wall Street Journal reports that California investor Waypoint Real Estate Group secured a loan for $65 million from Citigroup and is working on an even larger long-term financing deal with the bank. In January, the company received $250 million from a private equity firm.

Last August, I wrote about private equity and hedge funds buying single-family homes, a trend that began when the housing market crashed, which picked up steam earlier this year with the Federal Reserve's support of the purchases in order to reduce the backlog of foreclosures.

Most of the investing groups that have emerged are buying foreclosed properties in bulk, but Waypoint buys homes one at a time. The company, formed in 2009, owns more than 2,200 homes and wants to up that to more than 11,000 by the end of 2013. Most of their leases are for two years in order to encourage renters to remain in the property.

Another hedge fund, Colony Capital LLC, launched a unit called Colony American Homes in January and already owns 3,600 homes.

Are you renting a home that is owned by a hedge fund or private equity group?

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