we told youabout REO-to-rental bonds, the new financial product created by private equity giant Blackstone. These securities pay investors with the revenue streams from folks renting out the 150,000-odd previously foreclosed homes the firm has snatched up.
Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller called them “revolutionary,” telling us they could help the housing market become more liquid and make home prices less noisy, a problem he’s been writing about for 25 years.
Well, the bonds are on the market, and investors seem to love them.
The FT’s Tracy Alloway and Anjli Raval report Blackstone sold $US479-worth of the securities Thursday, backed by rents from more than 3,000 single-family Sun Belt properties.
And Reuters’ Adam Tempkins says the securities are already trading higher, and the activity is exceeding expectations.
“This deal firmly establishes that capital markets are ready for this new asset class,” an unnamed RMBS investor told Tempkin. “It is massively better execution than bank-finance alternatives. It shows that the securitization markets are open for rental-finance strategies, and that there is significant capital downstream for this sector.”
The bond issue got a lift from ratings agency Moody’s, which prior to the first sale bestowed a Triple-A rating on the most senior tranche of the security. Other ratings agencies were more sceptical but investors seem to have shaken that off.
“This is a positive signal that increases capital creation and capital flowing into this part of the housing market,” the source told Tempkin.
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