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Week of April 8th-Big investment firms have stopped gobbling up California homes

April 8, 2018

Astronomical prices are forcing a rising share of California families to postpone buying a house. As a result, the state’s record-low home ownership rate has been a boon to one growing segment of California’s housing market: single-family home rentals.

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of owner-occupied homes in California shrunk by nearly 64,000 units, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Meanwhile the number of renter-occupied homes increased dramatically. California now has 450,000 more homes used as rentals than it did a decade ago.  Compare that to the 1990s, when the number of rented homes grew by less than 120,000 while the state added 700,000 homes owned by the people who live in them. 

The rising tide of single-family rentals has renewed attention on who actually receives the rent payments that nearly 2 million Californians make each month. Lawmakers and first-time homeowner advocates have been scrutinizing a relatively new form of landlord: private investment firms that snapped up thousands of homes during the foreclosure crisis and now rent them out. With nearly one in four California homes now purchased in all-cash, these well-financed institutional investors have also been blamed as unfair competition against families bidding on starter homes.  Read more




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