B. Wayne Hughes, self-storage billionaire and sharecropper’s son, is making a real estate move that you might want to follow – on a relative scale, of course. Hughes made headlines earlier this week by purchasing 10,000 properties through his California-based firm, American Homes 4 Rent. This makes him the second-biggest owner of single-family rentals in the country, following closely on the heels of Stephen Schwarzman and the Blackstone Group. Blackstone spent about $2.7 billion on about 17,000 properties in the past year.
Hughes made his enormous purchase using about $600 million from a fund called the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp and from “other fundraising to buy real estate”. The billionaire founded Public Storage four decades ago in an era when most self-storage businesses were locally owned. He appears to be attempting the same sort of coup in the rental market, although in this sector he certainly has company from other multi-million-dollar corporations and funds.