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American Homes 4 Rent buys Beazer in home-rental consolidation

American Homes 4 Rent buys smaller rival as home-rental business keeps consolidating
American Homes 4 Rent buys back in to California rental market with Beazer acquisition

In another sign of consolidation in the single-family rental industry, Agoura Hills-based American Homes 4 Rent said Tuesday that it's buying smaller Beazer Pre-Owned Rental Homes Inc.

The deal, which is worth about $263 million in stock, cash and debt, will add roughly 1,300 houses to American Homes 4 Rent's portfolio of more than 25,000 in 22 states. It includes some houses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties; despite being based in Southern California, American Homes 4 Rent did not own houses here prior to the deal, focusing on less expensive markets.

American Homes 4 Rent is one of the biggest players in the burgeoning industry of renting single-family homes en masse. A collection of private equity firms, real estate trusts and other investment groups have spent as much as $20 billion buying up to 200,000 houses nationwide in the last two years.

In recent months, though, large buyers like Blackstone Group have slowed their pace of acquisitions -- especially in pricier markets like coastal California -- to focus on managing their portfolio and issuing bonds to raise more capital. Meanwhile, several smaller players, such as Beazer, have sold their portfolios and exited the business.

Keep an eye on housing and real estate in Southern California. Follow me at @bytimlogan

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