First-time home buyers often save for years in order to amass enough cash for a down payment on a home, but in the past couple of years, potential buyers have found themselves outbid by Wall Street investors with no shortage of readily available cash. According to The Seattle Times, firms such as The Blackstone Group have formed subsidiaries that buy large numbers of entry-level homes, often for less than $300,000, and renovate them for the rentals market. These firms are often able to pay all cash and close on the property much more quickly than a regular home buyer could.
According to market researcher RealtyTrac, major investors made at least 7 percent of all single-family home purchases in the Seattle area in 2013, buying 3,100 homes throughout the year. Blackstone’s Invitation Homes subsidiary alone bought at least 1,585 homes in 2013. Analysts do not see a slowdown in investor-purchased properties, and predict Wall Street could funnel $20 billion a year for the next few years into financing these purchases.
Neighbors who live near these homes are worried about the impact they will have on their neighborhoods as a whole, seeing investor-owned properties being neglected or violating housing laws or homeowner association rules. Some experts say these renovated properties could have an overall positive effect on neighborhood homes values, but that the increasing investor demand for rental properties could hurt regular home buyers by driving up prices.
For more information about Seattle rentals or real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.