Today's big story is a second-half-of-2013 question raised by two other breaking news articles.
In one, Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek staffers Heather Perlberg and John Gittelsohn explore the strategy Blackstone Group is building out with its investment in the single-family for-rent market.
In the other, the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Nathan Donato-Weinstein covers the IPO terms for San Jose, Calif.-based UCP, Inc. a land developer-builder seeking to raise $150 million or more in the equity capital markets.
One plan banks on a business that stakes its future on management of scattered single-family for-rent properties. The other's solidly founded on an entry-level, move-up, and second-time move-up American Dream of Homeownership business model. Can both strategies be right?
How do these stories tie? Can both strategies be right?
We're especially interested in the information the UCP IPO will give us. As the UCP shares price and trade, we'll get resolution as to one of 2013's important areas of uncertainty: Investor appetite.
This is a critical question for several reasons. Certainly, for UCP ceo Dustin Bogue's management team, the moment will tell whether his company's narrative--the leveraging of a relatively cheaply acquired pipeline of between 5,000 and 6,000 lots into a multiregional home building enterprise--flies among yield-starved investors.
However, it's also a key moment for a number of companies who're still in the throes of preparing and/or deciding whether to push ahead with their own offerings of public equity shares.
So, in light of signs of an imminent diminishment of the Fed's cheap borrowing policies--the taper caper--and more expensive mortgage rates, guarantee fees, closing costs, and house prices for home buyers, will investor mojo in housing tap the breaks or rev up for another leg of the end of the beginning of the rebound?
And, even if that mojo keeps up, will the respective individual builders' strategies begin to parse out from one another, one looking stronger than another?
Lastly, suggested by the full-speed-ahead push Blackstone is making into the single-family for-rent space--which has been a boon to home builders because of how accelerated the absorption of distressed property vacancies was--will a for-rent hedge strategy be the wiser one, particularly as young adults struggle for household income power to save down payments and build their credit scores for homeownership in the future?