Why are companies buying houses?

Some people are furious at reports that institutional investors (often private equity firms) are increasing demand for housing and driving prices higher. The Wall Street Journal wrote earlier this year that “performance-chasing investors are buying single-family homes and “competing” with ordinary Americans. Marketplace reported the same, noting that a buyer had been outbid six times by cash offers. Inman writes that consumers “increasingly compete against institutional investors.

And the Real Deal goes further, claiming that one of the “main reasons for the skyrocketing price increase is actually a huge wave of purchases by institutional investors”. Across the country, companies created special real estate investment trusts, or REITs, to pool funds to purchase packages of foreclosed properties. According to Abood, Los Angeles neighborhoods where at least 15 percent of homes are owned by the largest single-family rental companies have an average black population of 30 percent, according to Abood. Importantly, that figure is not just the participation of institutional investors, but of anyone who is not just buying a home for their own primary residence, which includes people who buy second homes or vacation rentals, family owners and small investors who change homes for the purpose of lucre.

A decade-long trend across the country of investors buying homes has apparently peaked in Newark, where nearly half of all home sales in the past three years have been to companies buying and then renting them out. In general, these are not homes that homeowners are looking to buy; institutional investors are really competing with other types of investors, such as normal people who make a living by changing properties. Length of leases increased from four pages to 18 to 43 as companies doubled restrictions and transferred more responsibility for mold remediation, landscaping and carbon monoxide detectors to the tenant. Goodman explains that, traditionally, institutional investors have not competed with normal people trying to buy homes because their best investment is to buy a home that needs major repairs that would be “very difficult for an occupying homeowner to do.”.

Buying a home with cash will give you an edge with sellers, as you won't have to wait for mortgage documents and there's no danger of financing failing. According to Marketplace, it could also include so-called iBuyers, investors who “make instant cash offers for homes and sell them soon after. There are many legitimate companies in New York that buy houses for cash, however, there are also some bad apples that are unethical and tend to overpromise and deliver little. A recent Twitter thread blaming BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, for buying “every family home they can find.

While you might be inclined to take a chance and try a new restaurant or hair salon, probably not so much with a new home buying company. Therefore, being able to further qualify the prospective homebuyer is essential to properly evaluate any offer they have received. While most businesses require an in-person appointment to assess the condition of a home, Leave the Keys will allow you to submit photos of your property for evaluation. In such a competitive market, it is certainly reasonable that investors may be competing with people willing to buy houses that they would normally oppose due to repairs.

Because the value of the housing portfolio had increased since its acquisition, Blackstone was able to extract much of the difference in cash and buy more homes. .

Alisa Carrino
Alisa Carrino

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