Institutional players in the single-family rental market are shifting their focus from owning and managing these properties to financing acquisitions by smaller owners, marking the start of what could be a substantial expansion for the emerging asset class.

Blackstone Group’s B2R Finance, Colony Financial’s Colony American Finance and CerberusFirstKey Lending, for example, are ramping up their single-family loan origination groups. “As housing prices continue to appreciate and cap rates compress, institutional investors will pull back and the space will revert to being entirely dominated by smaller buyers,” said John Beacham, ceo of B2R.

Earlier this year,....

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