By: Ismael Rodriguez

Two of the country’s most successful and grand single-family rental firms will merge, creating the country’s largest single-family home owner with 82,000 rental homes across 17 metro areas.

Blackstone Group and Starwood Capital Group merged to become the largest deal to come out of the single-family industry, according to the Wall Street Journal, since private equity investment in American homes spiked up during the foreclosure crisis almost a decade ago.

The new company will keep Blackstone’s publicly-traded single family division, Invitation Homes, and be deemed the nation’s largest single-family home owner, almost doubling the amount of rental homes owned by its closest competitor, American Homes 4 Rent.

Invitation Homes will staff executives from both Blackstone and Starwood, and will include Jonathan Gray, the current head of real estate operations at Sternlicht and Blackstone. Its new portfolio is mostly made up of holdings from South Florida and Los Angeles, with more than 9,000 homes in Miami and 8,000 in the Southern California suburbs.

Invitation Homes also held an initial public offering in January, raising more than $1.5 billion in funds from investors.