Higher Than Expected Vacancy Rates in First REO to Rental Deal
On February 19, Yahoo! Finance published an article titled Vacancy Rates Higher Than Expected in First REO to Rental Deal.
Vacancy rates higher than expected in first REO to rental deal
NEW YORK, Feb 19 (IFR) – The stabilized vacancy rates for the single-family home rental properties backing the first-ever REO-to-rental securitization from Blackstone’s Invitation Homes unit were higher than that predicted by the issuer.
In a deal “performance update”, Morningstar Credit Ratings said the expected stabilized vacancy rate for properties underlying the deal were 8.0% or in line with its expectations but exceeded the issuer’s underwritten vacancy rate of 6.0%.
Morningstar along with Moody’s and Kroll gave Triple A ratings to the ground-breaking transaction.
The vacancy numbers were still well within the “stressed” parameters of Morningstar’s initial assessment, meaning the deal is performing as expected. Moreover, performance is predicted to improve this year as fewer rental leases expire.
And despite an early drop-off in collected rents, payments were made in full to bondholders in December 2013 and January 2014, the rating agency said.
The findings are based on the initial performance data from the first few months of the transaction’s life.
“Given the limited historical performance data for the single-family rental asset class as a whole, Morningstar recognizes the importance of sharing detailed portfolio and property-level performance information with the market,” wrote a team of ratings analysts led by Becky Cao.
“Morningstar will compare its initial underwriting assumptions with the actual portfolio performance in order to assess if the performance is consistent with its assumptions at issuance.”
There has already been a reduction in rental cashflows received since collections started last October, mostly due to lease expirations on the underlying rented-out homes. In total, the percentage of vacant and delinquent properties was 8.3% as of January 2014 by property count. The gross rent collected in January was 7.6% lower than the gross rent collected as of the cut-off date last October.
“This reduction in rent is primarily due to vacant properties and is consistent with Morningstar’s expected stabilized vacancy rate of 8.0%, but exceeds the issuer’s underwritten vacancy rate of 6.0%,” the analysts wrote.
Of the leases that expired in December, 78.5% renewed. This exceeds Morningstar’s expected renewal rate of 66.7%.
“As the number of lease expirations decline throughout 2014, and the vacant properties are filled, we expect the vacancy rate to stabilize and to potentially decline,” the analysts wrote.
Blackstone’s Invitation Homes 2013-SFR1 transaction, for US$479m, was the most hotly anticipated deal of 2013. Though industry observers were surprised that it was rated Triple A, the deal was a success when it priced in November, attracting scores of investors desperate for access to any aspect of US residential mortgage credit after a five-year drought.
The transaction has had mixed performance since then, teetering around par but occasionally going below it.
The trade was backed by rental income from only 3,207 out of more than 40,000 foreclosed US properties that the private equity firm snapped up over the past two years.
Competitors such as American Homes 4 Rent and Colony Capital have similar transactions in the works, with some market players predicting the deals will surface by the end of the first quarter.
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Safeguard Properties is the largest mortgage field services company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs approximately 1,700 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally. Website: www.safeguardproperties.com.