The Carlyle Group’s Latest Investment... Trailer Parks

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Earlier this month, I highlighted the fact that the Carlyle Group was the latest in a series of “smart money” private equity firms to decide it was time to exit the suddenly extremely crowded “buy-to rent” residential real estate trade. At the time I noted that:

As it sells apartments, Carlyle is focusing investments in areas such as senior housing, self-storage units and manufactured homes, where demand tends to be driven by life changes such as retirement or marriages, and isn’t so closely tied to changes in employment and gross domestic product, Stuckey said.

Well it appears Carlyle has already started to make its move. As the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday: Carlyle Jumps Into Niche Space - Private-Equity Firm Adds Trailer Parks to Its Diverse Portfolio. In case you can’t figure out what appears to be the key logic behind the shift in focus, try this line on for size:

Because the cost of relocating a home is expensive, residents are less likely to move away. “Our customers have no alternative shot at homeownership, nor do they [normally] even have the credit scores and quality to seek anything better,” Mr. Rolfe said. “They never leave the park they are in, and the revenues are unbelievably stable as a result.”

In neo-feudalistic America, always, always go long serfdom.

More from the WSJ:

Carlyle Group LP,  a private-equity firm that has interests in everything from an oil refinery to a vitamin maker, is adding trailer parks to its portfolio.

 

The Washington-based company has struck a deal to acquire two Florida communities for a total of $30.8 million. The sellers are two entities managed by Shamrock Holdings LLC, a Paradise Valley, Ariz., owner and operator of communities, said owner Patrick O’Malley. The deal is expected to close this month.

 

Carlyle declined to comment. But analysts said the deal is evidence that big investors are betting that the demand for low-cost manufactured housing, the latest generation of trailers or mobile homes, will rise as other housing alternatives become too expensive for a number of Americans, especially senior citizens.

 

Landlords like the steady income stream—tenants tend to stay put, especially retirees—and the low maintenance costs. Also, the communities are easy to run and typically stay full and see rents increase during market downturns.

 

Because the cost of relocating a home is expensive, residents are less likely to move away. “Our customers have no alternative shot at homeownership, nor do they [normally] even have the credit scores and quality to seek anything better,” Mr. Rolfe said. “They never leave the park they are in, and the revenues are unbelievably stable as a result.”

One thing is quite clear. Carlyle knows full well what the future of America looks like

Full article here.