Institutional investors bought nearly 18 percent of all single-family homes sold in Mecklenburg County in 2012, and own one in every 31 homes in the county, one of the highest rates in the country, according to figures released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real estate information and analytics provider.
Gaston, Cabarrus and Union counties also had a higher-than-average percentage of sales to institutional investors.
Mecklenburg County placed second overall in the company’s new report, “25 Counties Where Wall St. is Most Likely Your Landlord.” The regions with populations over 100,000 that have the highest percentage of single-family homes now owned by institutional investors are Atlanta, Charlotte, Shreveport, La., Memphis, Tenn., and Oklahoma City, Okla.
Institutional investors are defined as entities that buy more than 10 properties in a calendar year. Institutional investors bought 8,852 homes in Mecklenburg County between January 2012 and October 2014, the third highest number in the U.S., according to RealtyTrac. The Phoenix area ranked first, followed by Houston, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit and Las Vegas.
Nationally, institutional investors bought nearly half a million homes during that time, most often holding them as rentals.
“The institutional investors kick-started the housing recovery by buying homes in bulk at the lowest point and holding them as rentals,” said Chris Pollinger, senior vice president of sales at First Team Real Estate in Southern California, in the report. Los Angeles County was among the top 10 for most purchases by institutional investors over the past three years, with 6,152. “As the market continues to climb, we expect these investors to start to sell off their inventory to capture the gains made in the past couple of years.”
RealtyTrac further focuses on the top four institutional investors: Invitation Homes, owned by Blackstone; American Homes 4 Rent; Colony American Homes; and Fundamental REO.
Charlotte ranked second in counties with the most homes purchased by those entities. Maricopa County, Ariz., was first.
The Queen City also ranked second in the highest percentage of homes owned by the big four investors.
Broken down into zip codes, the Charlotte region held four of the top 10 spots and 10 of the top 50 spots nationally in the share of total single-family homes owned by the top four institutional investors.
Those four entities own one in every 42 homes in Charlotte’s western 28278 zip code, which runs from the airport to the South Carolina line along the Catawba River, according to the report.
Not far behind that area is 28269, in the northeast quadrant of interstates 77 and 85, where 1 in every 47 homes is owned by one of the top four investors.
Other zip codes with a high percentage of homes owned by those entities form an arc starting near the southern intersection of interstates 77 and 485 and running north along the Catawba River, widening north of uptown to include between the center city and Lake Norman and south along the Cabarrus County line to Albemarle Road. They are 28273, 28214, 28216, 28078, 28262, 28213 and 28215.
The tenth zip code, 28079, borders on Union County and includes Indian Trail.