03/04/2022 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Dallas Tanner, president and CEO of Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE: INVH), says the REIT’s $250 million investment in Pathway Homes will expand choice in the housing market by helping first-time homebuyers who lack access to traditional avenues to home ownership.

Speaking on the REIT Report, Tanner said Pathway, launched in partnership with Regis Group and Fifth Wall, is an opportunity to support a growing segment in the marketplace—individuals that want a lease option purchase agreement or the chance to build equity in a home over time.

Pathway works directly with customers to identify and purchase a home, offering them the opportunity to first lease and then buy the home outright at a future date. In addition to investing in the homes and technology platform for Pathway and its real estate fund, Invitation Homes will provide maintenance and other services to all Pathway homes, enabling the REIT to broaden its third-party property management services.

“We really love what Pathway has put together in terms of how to create some of these social housing opportunities for people that maybe are down payment-light, or don't have the ability to put down a traditional down payment,” Tanner said.

Tanner noted that 25% of annual tenant turnover comes from people leaving to buy a home. The investment in Pathway, he said, is viewed as a way for Invitation Homes to help support their journey to home ownership.

During the podcast Tanner also noted that:

· 2022 will be a year of growth for the REIT, although not as elevated as in 2021. Some of the logistic challenges and supply chain issues have created “ an even deeper trench for supply,” according to Tanner. “Until we see enough supply come back into the marketplace, I imagine that our demand curve is still going to be relatively strong.” He added that “by and large, we’d hopefully want to see the pace of demand slow just a little bit because it was growing at an unsustainable pace last year.”

· Over time, Pathway is likely to be active in all the markets that Invitation Homes is in, “and probably many more.”

· Invitation Homes is also helping to alleviate the gap in the market for skilled workers through its partnership with SkillsUSA. “There’s such a need for skilled trades…one way that we can reinvest in our community is to create these programs and make it really accessible for young adults.”