By Marissa Luck, Staff writer Houston Chronicle
Jan 23, 2024
A 114-unit build-to-rent community is opening south of Houston, adding to the growing trend of single-family rental projects across the region.
Residents recently began moving into Balcara at Meridiana, a single-family rental community built by Balcara Group about 25 miles south of Houston, near Highway 288 and County Road 56 in Rosharon.
“Balcara’s strategy has always been to locate within superb master plans and provide a complimentary, no-maintenance lifestyle choice to residents in a great, family-oriented environment. The growth and future of the area is confirmed by the recent opening of Manvel Town Center anchored by a large H-E-B,” said Paul Davey, CEO of Balcara Group, in an email. Manvel Town Center is about 5 miles away.
After launching leasing in November, Balcara at Meridiana is 15% leased, Davey said. Rents start at $2,450 after various specials the landlord is offering; without discounts, rents will range $2,795 to $2,995. The average lease price for a single-family home in Houston was $2,207 in December, according to Houston Association of Realtors.
Balcara Group is seeking to target so-called “renters by choice,” who want to rent rather than buy a home but still want to experience the single-family home lifestyle. The community includes three- and four-bedroom houses of 1,700 square feet to 1,770 square feet. Every home has a fenced backyard and two-car garage.
Residents also will have access to an amenity center featuring a fitness center, billiard room, children’s playroom, pool, playground and dog park. Real estate firm Greystar will manage the community.
The project is Balcara Group’s latest single-family rental project in the Houston area. In 2021, Balcara Group sold a 163-home project in Humble, called Balcara at Balmoral, to Fundrise, an online real estate investment platform.
Once Balcara at Meridiana is leased up, Balcara Group will evaluate whether to refinance the community or sell it, Davey said. The developer is continuing to look for additional development sites for new single-family rental communities.
Several build-to-rent communities have popped up across Houston in recent years, such as Wingspan in Bridgeland in Cypress, Willow at Marvida in Cypress and Willow at Sierra Vista in Rosharon.
There are about 9,660 single-family rental homes within about 60 open build-to-rent communities across the nine-county Houston region, according to John Burns Research and Consulting. The Irvine, Calif.-based consultancy is tracking another 38 communities proposed, planned or under construction across the Houston area.