Blackstone Group's (BX) - Get Report Invitation Homes Inc (INVH) - Get Report and Starwood Waypoint Homes (SFR) agreed to a deal Thursday that will merge their rental home businesses to create a giant landlord operating 82,000 properties in 17 metro areas, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The deal between two of the country's largest rental home owners is the biggest yet in the quickly consolidating rental home business.

The combined businesses, which have a value of about $10.7 billion, will be the largest private owner of single-family homes by far. The nearest competitor is American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) - Get Report , which owns about 49,000 homes.

The merger comes after Invitation Homes and Starwood have spent the years since the financial crisis competing for properties in 10 of the 17 markets in which the new business will operate. "We realized this is silly. Combining is better than competing with each other forever," Starwood chairman Barry Sternlicht said.

Invitation Homes stock is up 5% this year, while Starwood has gained 16%.

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