Blackstone, the world’s largest real estate investor, has launched a dedicated home rental business, Realm Australia, to join the wave of build-to-rent offerings across the country.  

Realm entered the market with two apartment offerings: Realm Caulfield, in Melbourne, which was in the final stages of construction, and Realm Kangaroo Point, in Brisbane. 

The move bolsters Blackstone’s already substantial presence in Australia and will see it leverage its international BTR expertise in the UK and USA.  

Tom McDonald, a Principal in Blackstone’s Real Estate team, said there was a growing demand for rented residential properties, which spanned across multiple generations.   

“We’re committed to prioritising our tenants, providing high-quality service and long-term security, and a large range of amenities designed to enhance their lifestyle experiences and create a sense of community,” McDonald said. 

“It’s important to have a range of housing types, tenures and price points in the right locations and across the housing continuum.  

“What sets Realm Australia apart is that it is a specialist standalone rental only business.” 

Realm’s first Victorian property, Realm Caulfield, was located in south-east Melbourne with completion scheduled for November 2022. 

Realm Caulfield

The Caulfield property will offer 437 apartments above the Caulfield Village shopping precinct, which featured a Coles supermarket, 24 other lifestyle and hospitality specialty stores.  

The company’s Brisbane property, Realm Kangaroo Point, opened its doors to tenants in September 2021 and was now fully leased. 

The Realm Kangaroo Point complex offered about 300 residents a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses, as well as two and three-bedroom split-level townhouses. 

The asset had an onsite resident experience team to attend to tenants’ needs and organise social activities and events. 

According to new Cushman & Wakefield research published earlier this year, Australia’s BTR market was expected to grow from 1,859 homes to nearly 16,000 by 2027 based on existing projects at the time.   

The research found that 14 institutional investors had been developing 12,848 units across 40 BTR projects nationwide – worth a combined $9.6 billion.   

In May, global real estate firm Hines acquired a build-to-rent (BTR) development in Melbourne, marking the company’s third BTR acquisition in Australia.  

In February, Make Ventures bought a Toyota dealership site in Melbourne’s north for $40 million to develop into a BTR property, while Altis Property Partners and Aware Super acquired another commercial building in the same suburb for $14.04 million for a BTR project.