Corporate investors flooding Atlanta’s housing market

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 10:37 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Large corporations continue to strengthen their grip on Atlanta’s housing market.

Many of them have headquarters outside of the state.

In an Atlanta Regional Housing Forum on Wednesday, experts took a close look at the role corporate landlords are playing on Atlanta’s housing market.

Housing experts said large companies are continuing to buy-to-rent and build-to-rent within metro Atlanta.

Black would-be buyers are being pushed out at higher rates, according to new data from Brian Yan, Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning.

Four companies – Invitation Homes, American Homes 4 Rent, Tricon Residential, and Front Yard Residential – own more than 27,000 single-family homes in metro Atlanta, according to Desiree Fields, researcher from the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s an everyday occurrence now,” said Antonio Merkerson, realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties.

Merkerson said one recent seller he represented was initially seeking to sell her home in Stockbridge to a local buyer who intended to live there.

However, Merkerson explained that the buyer had trouble refusing the quick, cash-in-hand offer from a corporate investor.

“For that cash offer from that investor, it makes it extremely hard for them not to accept it,” said Merkerson.

Merkerson said having a strong lender can help buyers combat the role of corporate investors.

“Corporate landlords signal a growing power imbalance in the housing market,” said Fields.

She said that new public policies are needed to address this imbalance.

The mayor of College Park is also calling on state lawmakers to give cities more options in regulating corporate landlords.

“It’s very difficult when investors are snatching up every single house and then coming to us with build-to-rent subdivisions,” said Bianca Motley Broom, Mayor of College Park.

Motley Broom said roughly 75% of College Park residents are renters.

She said the competitive housing market, benefiting sellers, is challenging her own city-workers.

“We have city employees who would love to live in the city of College Park but are getting priced out,” Motley Broom said.

Broom stressed that she wants to see a viable path to ownership for her residents.

“I think what’s at stake is the opportunity for people to build wealth and to pass it on to the next generation,” Broom said.