Shared from the 1/15/2023 Houston Chronicle eEdition


Market proves there’s no place like a home

Build-to-rent developments lure renters with familiar amenities

Brett Coomer/Staff photographer

Wan Bridge Group CEO Tung Qiao walks past townhomes that are ready to lease in the Clearwater at Balmoral subdivision.

Ascendant Development

Ascendant Development has broken ground on Preserve at HW6, a community planned for 320 rental houses in Fresno.

Howard Hughes Corp.

Wingspan in Bridgeland is the Howard Hughes Corp.’s first build-to-rent neighborhood.

The popularity of the build-to-rent real estate market, in which developers build communities of new homes to be leased, has soared in recent years as renters — like traditional buyers — seek more space in the suburbs.

The rental houses (and in some cases, townhouses) have many of the amenities of homes in a typical planned suburban development, such as yards, garages, community amenities and good schools nearby. And though rents can be as much as a mortgage, renters of single-family homes have more space than most urban apartment dwellers and a little more flexibility than those committed to a 15- or 30-year mortgage.

The following list of the 10 largest build-to-rent developments includes newcomers to the sector such as the Howard Hughes Corp., a Houston-based development company, which began its first single-family rental home community in Bridgeland last summer, and national apartment developer Camden Property Trust.

Homebuilders, including HistoryMaker Homes, Taylor Morrison and Highland Homes, in partnership with Canadian company Tricon Residential, are among the companies that have begun building neighborhoods targeting renters.

Meanwhile, Clay Residential, an affiliate of Houston industrial real estate firm Clay Development & Construction, created a business line that develops houses for the rental market in master-planned communities. Houston-based Balcara Group recently started its second area project in Meridiana, following the completion and sale of its first in the Balmoral community in northeast Houston. Among companies expanding in the market, Houston-based Wan Bridge announced several projects, including its biggest yet: Pradera Oaks will bring more than 800 rental houses to the village of Bonney off Texas 288 in Brazoria County over the next few years. The Dinerstein Cos. of Houston announced the start of Inspire Homes, a new brand specializing in single-family build to rent communities with initial projects in Texas and Florida.

The complete list of build-to-rent communities will be at this week.

Pradera Oaks

812 homes, 250 acres

Wan Bridge is developing Pradera Oaks, its largest property to date, in Bonney, a village along Texas 288 in Brazoria County. The development, being completed over three years, will contain homes renting from $2,195 to $2,475 a month. A lake, jogging trail, dog park, playground and a splash pad are planned.

Preserve at HW6

320 homes

Ascendant Development, a Houston-based apartment and student-housing investor, developer and general contractor, started construction on Preserve at HW6 at 11923 State Highway 6 in Fresno. The property will offer one-story, detached single-family homes and amenities including a clubhouse, fitness center with yoga and spin room, game room, club room, dog park, outdoor central park and saltwater pool. The homes range from 763 square feet for one-bedroom plans to 1,388 square feet for three-bedroom homes. Pre-leasing is expected to begin in fall 2024.


263 homes, 27 acres

Wingspan in Bridge-land is the first-ever build-to-rent neighborhood for the Howard Hughes Corp., offering casita-style homes, town-homes and duplexes ranging from 650 to 1,700 square feet. Available in summer 2023, the homes will offer gated backyards, maintenance service and garages in select units. Renters will have access to amenities within Bridgeland, plus a pet park, playground, pool, fitness center and covered outdoor spaces with grilling stations for residents.

Avalon at Cypress

240 homes, 19 acres

Taylor Morrison is developing its first rental home community in the Houston market: Avalon at Cypress. Originally planned in partnership with Christopher Todd Communities, Taylor Morrison plans to build the community under its “Yardly Built By Taylor Morrison” brand. Groundbreaking is anticipated in early 2023. The project is adjacent to the 480-acre Avalon at Cypress community.

Clearwater at Balmoral

200 homes

Wan Bridge started building 200 rental homes in two additional sections of Clearwater at Balmoral, offering three-and four-bedroom town-homes ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 square feet, according to Wan Bridge and Land Tejas. Some will have views of the Crystal Clear Lagoon beach club.

Meadows at Telge

195 homes, 44 acres

PCCP, a real estate finance and investment management firm based in Los Angeles, announced it will develop Meadows at Telge, a 195-unit single-family for-rent community at Grant and Telge Road in Cypress. ICB will develop the homes on behalf of PCCP. Initial houses are expected to be available in two to three years.

The Everstead at Windrose

194 homes, 22 acres

Landmark Properties of Athens, Ga., in partnership with Principal Real Estate Investors, is developing The Ever-stead at Windrose, a gated community of townhouses, single-family homes and cottage-style homes at 7801 FM 2920 in Spring. Community amenities will include a resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, playground, grilling area, dog park, hammock garden, bocce ball court and coffee bar.

Enclave at Mason Creek

192 homes, 13 acres

Among corporate office parks in the Katy area, Wan Bridge is developing Enclave at Mason Creek near Merchants Way north of Interstate 10. Available starting in early 2023, the project consists of three-and four-bedroom units in a community that “blends contemporary-styled homes with an industrial environment.”

Camden Woodmill Creek

189 homes

Houston multifamily developer Camden Property Trust has broken ground on a 189-home single-family rental community called Camden Woodmill Creek, a $75 million project in The Woodlands. A similar project is planned in Richmond.

Inspire Homes - Missouri City

186 homes, 35 acres

The Dinerstein Cos. has started construction of single-family homes at 10050 Highway 6 near Sienna. The homes, sized from 1,114 square feet to 1,374 square feet, will have front yards, large fenced backyards and attached two car garages. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, resort-style pool with spa, outdoor kitchen, dog park and outdoor courtyards.

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