American Homes 4 Rent to Sell Shares in Public Offering

American Homes 4 Rent, the housing landlord headed by Public Storage founder B. Wayne Hughes, said it plans to sell shares to the public for the first time.

The company will submit a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission within 60 days, it said today in a statement. Proceeds will be used to acquire and renovate homes. The Malibu, California-based firm didn’t say how much it plans to raise in the initial public offering.

American Homes 4 Rent, with about 10,000 properties, is the biggest owner of single-family rentals after Blackstone Group LP, the private-equity firm that has purchased more than $3 billion in residences in the past year. Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., which invests royalties from state oil revenue, put $600 million in a joint venture with American Homes 4 Rent last year.

Institutional investors are rushing to buy single-family homes to take advantage of prices below the cost of newly built properties and to meet demand from renters who can’t qualify to buy or don’t want to own a house.

Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based real estate investment trust that owns single-family rentals, raised $245 million in an IPO in December. American Residential Properties Inc., a Scottsdale, Arizona-based single-family rental company, said on Dec. 5 that it probably will file this quarter to go public.

U.S. home prices as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller index rose 6.8 percent in 2012, the biggest 12-month gain since July 2006, according to a report yesterday. Prices remain 29 percent below the July 2006 peak.