Wall Street is gearing up to buy your house — and lease it back to you

A growing group of Wall Street owners of single-family rental homes have ramped up their fundraising in anticipation of the millions of Americans who could be forced to turn over or sell their homes amid the financial stress of the pandemic.

Some firms have focused on a growing niche in the business that seeks to offer homeowners a different proposition, the chance to stay put while tapping the cash locked in the value of their home.

The four year old firm, EasyKnock, has established itself as a name in so-called “sale leaseback” transactions, in which homeowners sell the company their property, then rent it back.

EasyKnock’s CEO, Jarred Kessler, told Business Insider that a financial partner recently committed to provide it with a credit line that will allow it to acquire $500 million of homes, a sum that would more than triple its current portfolio, which is nearly $200 million in size.

Kessler declined to name the partner, but described it as an “institutional lender.”

“We’re trying to be the first mover in the sale-leaseback side of the business,” Kessler said. “It’s the biggest audience and the most underserved part of the market.”

The entry of large, corporate investors into the business of owning and renting single-family suburban homes gained traction in the aftermath of the financial crisis a decade ago, which ushered a wave of foreclosures and brought home prices crashing down….


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