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PODCAST: IMMO Co-Founder Samantha Kempe On Bringing Institutional Capital To SFR

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

IMMO Capital co-founder and Chief Investment Officer Samatha Kempe

There is no denying that the single-family rental market is having a serious moment.

Last December in the United States, rents for single-family homes jumped 12%, the biggest year-over-year increase in almost two decades. The sector is getting massive interest from investors: About 18% of all U.S. homes are sold to investors, up from 8% 13 years ago.

And as firms like BlackRock and Blackstone zero in on the sector, there is widespread unease over the presence of private equity in the ownership of the sorts of homes that would, in the past, be purchased largely by individuals — the very people who are finding homeownership increasingly out of their reach. 

The counterargument is that a professional landlord will run these homes better, provide renters a better product — and will meet shifting demands from a growing number of people who don’t want the burden of homeownership.

On this episode of Bisnow Reports, we’re hearing from Samatha Kempe, the co-founder and chief investment officer of IMMO Capital, a company that buys homes on behalf of large, professional investors and runs them.

"We realize that if we can use technology, we can unlock this asset class for institutions and create a better housing product for consumers," she says on the podcast. "More and more people are choosing to rent, a lot of it driven by affordability. If I'm honest, there are a lot of people who can't afford to buy homes anymore. But there is also an increasing number of people who choose to rent, not because they can't afford to buy but because ... they want to have that flexibility."