Greystar launches Asia platform with Macquarie

The Charleston, South Carolina-based firm is expanding to the Asia rental business after establishing a presence in Europe and Latin America.

Greystar Real Estate Partners is teaming up with Macquarie Capital to form a new Asia-Pacific rental housing platform called Greystar Asia-Pac, the firms said Tuesday.

Through the venture, the firms plan to raise institutional capital to acquire, develop, reposition and manage rental residential assets across the region, initially focusing in the cities of Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney and Melbourne. Terms of the venture were not disclosed.

“My original vision when starting Greystar in the early 1990s was to build a blue chip company that could help professionalize the rental housing industry for institutional capital in the US,” said Bob Faith, Greystar’s founder, in Tuesday’s statement. “We view our opportunity in the Asia-Pacific as a natural extension of our original strategy and believe a partnership with Macquarie provides valuable regional experience and expertise. We intend to build the leading rental residential company within the major cities of the region.”

Greystar, based in Charleston, South Carolina, manages over $14 billion, according to the statement. The firm made its first international investment in October 2013 with the acquisition of a 21-asset student housing portfolio in the UK, in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Greystar also entered the Latin America market in 2013 when PGIM hired the firm to operate its multifamily assets in Mexico City. Its on-the-ground presence in Mexico subsequently led to the formation of a €250 million separate account with a sovereign wealth fund to develop additional assets in the city.

Chris Green, Macquarie Capital’s global head of real estate, told PERE that with the exception of Japan, multifamily is a relatively immature asset class in the Asia Pacific region.

“If you look at what’s happening at a governmental level, these fast-growing cities are trying to address the shortage of quality accommodation to house the people they are looking to attract over the coming five to 10 years,” Green said. “You're also seeing more of an impetus for multifamily as an asset class from a tenant, investor and lender perspective so we felt that it’s a pretty interesting market for us to be focused on and Greystar was the logical partner.”

Sydney-based Macquarie has raised more than $57 billion of equity for real estate ventures, according to Tuesday’s statement.