(Bloomberg) -- Starwood Capital Group is acquiring 2,300 single-family rental homes from Pretium Partners, increasing its bet on U.S. suburban real estate. 

Starwood, led by Barry Sternlicht, has agreed to pay more than $1 billion for the portfolio, according to people with the knowledge of the transaction, which has yet to close. 

Representatives for Starwood and Pretium declined to comment.

Single-family rentals became a popular trade as the Covid-19 pandemic sparked migration to Sun Belt suburbs and pushed real estate investors to seek new strategies. More than $30 billion has been committed to rental houses since 2020, according to deal announcements compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. 

The flood of new capital, combined with low borrowing costs and rising rents, is pushing up asset prices. In the past, rental houses were viewed as riskier than multifamily properties, allowing single-family investors to earn a premium. But the gap is narrowing. 

Sternlicht, whose firm is among the largest owners of U.S. apartments, first acquired single-family rentals in the aftermath of the U.S. foreclosure crisis. After a pause, Starwood began buying homes again before the pandemic.

Pretium, meanwhile, has been one of the most active participants in the single-family rental boom. The firm, led by Donald Mullen, partnered with Ares Management Corp. to buy landlord Front Yard Residential Corp. for $2.5 billion, and has struck deals to buy homes from GTIS Partners and Zillow Group Inc.

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