Rental shift

Oliver Chang, former head of U.S. Housing Strategy at Morgan Stanley, launches Sylvan Road Capital to invest in distressed single-family rental homes nationwide.


Sylvan Road Capital, LLC, has launched an asset management firm founded by Oliver Chang, Robert Lee, Sarah Lee, and Gavin Kleinknecht. Sylvan Road will focus on the $3 trillion single-family rental market. The firm expects to invest over $1 billion in this market nationally over the next two years, beginning with an initial capital commitment from a leading private equity firm to acquire over $300 million in single-family homes.

Chang is the former head of U.S. Housing Strategy at Morgan Stanley, and his partners are the principals of Atlanta-based Delmar Realty Advisors, owners and managers of single-family rental homes in the Southeast.

“America is moving toward a rentership society, and I believe the opportunity to purchase and professionally manage single-family rental homes represents one of the most compelling investment opportunities across all asset classes,” said Chang, cofounder and managing director. “My partners have been in the single-family real estate business for nearly two decades and have built a best-in-class acquisition, renovation and management platform specifically designed for these properties.”

Sylvan Road focuses on buying and renovating highly-distressed single-family properties, in the process improving communities and creating employment opportunities.

Lee, co-founder and managing director, said, “We are excited to be working with Oliver to realize our shared vision of delivering high quality, yet affordable, single-family rental homes to residents across the country. It is very rare to find an opportunity that represents a good investment and also allows you to build a company that helps people and communities with their everyday lives.”

Chang began his career at Morgan Stanley in 2005, where he focused on all aspects of the housing market including home price dynamics, supply and foreclosure issues, demand and mortgage credit concerns, and the relationship between home prices and mortgage performance. He served as a housing strategist beginning in 2008 after accurately predicting the bursting of the housing bubble in 2006. Most recently, he served as Morgan Stanley’s head of U.S. Housing Strategy, advising institutional investors and U.S. housing agencies. Chang correctly forecast the continued declines in home prices after 2009 and is widely recognized for his pioneering, comprehensive research on the single-family housing market in the wake of the financial crisis.

Robert Lee, Sarah Lee and Kleinknecht founded Delmar in 2008 to exclusively focus on the buy-to-rent single-family home market. The trio has been in homebuilding, property management and real estate investing since 1996, collectively building over $100 million in new single-family homes and raising over $1 billion for real estate investment funds. Delmar currently owns and manages a portfolio of homes in Atlanta. Delmar’s property management company is being rebranded as HavenBrook Homes to service Sylvan Road Capital investments.

Sylvan Road Capital, headquartered in Atlanta with offices in San Francisco, is an asset manager focused on residential real estate investing. The firm specializes in buy-to-rent single-family homes, and employs best-in-class operations through its wholly-owned and vertically integrated subsidiary, HavenBrook Homes. Sylvan Road invests and operates across the complete asset lifecycle from acquisition through exit, including renovation, leasing, property management and resident support. Its founders’ residential experience ranges from home building and property management to housing strategy and mortgage research.