Blackstone is dumping a bunch of Atlanta homes that aren't fancy enough for its strategy

Steve SchwarzmanAP Photo/Ng Han GuanWall Street tycoon Stephen A. Schwarzman attends a ground breaking ceremony for a residential college building on the grounds of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China

Atlanta just isn’t cutting it for Steve Schwarzman’s taste.

Invitation Homes, Blackstone’s home rental firm, is selling a huge portfolio of properties there, according to a Bloomberg report.

The company was founded in 2012 and in the years since, the massive company has expanded its holdings to 45,000 homes.

Invitation’s strategy is to rent homes in higher-end communities with quality schools. Blackstone didn’t comment on what made Atlanta less of a fit, but the Bloomberg story points out that the company aims to sell up to 5% of its portfolio every year.

Although the Atlanta asset sale represents the biggest homes dump by Invitation since its 2012 inception, the 1,300 homes it is unloading represent a tiny portion of the properties it manages.

With its total assets totaling about $US9 billion, Invitation Homes makes up a big portion of Blackstone’s enormous real estate holdings. No other private equity firm has as big a presence in the real estate industry as Blackstone. And Blackstone’s AUM and share price has outpaced competitors largely due to its clout in the property business.

Blackstone graphGoogle FinanceBlackstone stock has outpaced that of all listed private equity competitors over recent years.

Other huge deals for Schwarzman in the real estate space include its recent purchase of the Willis Tower in Chicago and its ongoing exit of stock in Hilton Worldwide Holdings. According to the Bloomberg article, Invitation Homes could also debut on public markets via IPO.

Shares were up more than two per cent in early trading Monday morning July 13. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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