Home Properties invests in, develops, renovates, and operates multifamily residential properties, primarily in growth markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT) owns and manages a portfolio of about 125 properties with around 42,000 individual units. It invests in communities for which it can provide a little TLC (such as improved landscaping, interior upgrades, and amenities such as swimming pools) to boost property values post-rehabilitation. The REIT also develops new properties, usually on raw land adjacent to existing properties in its portfolio. Lone Star Funds agreed to acquire the REIT in late 2015.
Home Properties focuses on high-growth markets which have high barriers to entry, primarily on the East Coast. Target areas include Baltimore, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. In line with that strategy, it has in recent years exited both the Detroit metro and upstate New York markets, selling about 40 apartment complexes total.
The REIT slowed down its acquisition activity during the economic downturn. With the weakened financial markets, tenants are less likely to be interested in the upgraded rents that accompany spruced-up apartments, so Home Properties held tight with its existing portfolio. With the market's recovery, the REIT has begun ramping up its investment activity; it bought about a dozen apartment communities in its core markets in several separate transactions during 2010 and 2011. Home Properties earmarked up to $300 million for acquisitions in 2012 and has a handful of properties under development. The REIT occasionally sells properties that are no longer a strategic fit or are less efficient to operate.
As economic indicators showed signs of improvement, rental income for Home Properties rose more than 12% in 2011. Its net income for the year reflected a similar increase as the company's results were buoyed by its 2010 acquisitions.