JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Action News Jax investigation reveals that investment companies are buying up thousands of local homes and keeping them as rental properties.
Ishiah Dixon was hoping this year would be it, the year she’d reach her dream of owning her own home.
She exclaims, “I always wanted to own something, always wanted to own something my whole life and I’m trying to start with my house.”
But she says the housing market made that impossible.
“We went to go look at a house and they said they marked the houses up $10,000 every time two houses sold. So, we went on Monday, it was in a good budget. We went back and it was marked up 40 grand higher than what we were intending it to be, so we kind of just held off for a little bit.”
Right now, Dixon and her family are renting a home owned by Invitation Homes, a national investment company.
It has 429 homes in its local investment portfolio spread across several different corporation names.
Dixon says they raised her rent $100 this year.
Using data from the Duval County Property Appraiser, we discovered Invitation Homes isn’t alone or even the biggest player in local real estate investments.
You’ve probably heard of Opendoor, which bought 413 homes in Duval County since 2020.
American Homes 4 Rent has tenants in 393 homes and JWB Real Estate Capital has 843 properties.
Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland says this trend is increasing.
“We have about 274,000 single-family homes. About 25% of them are owned by investors.”
You read that right! A quarter of all the single-family homes in Duval County aren’t owned by families.
“The thing is, it’s growing that’s the key which direction it’s going. More investors are buying property especially in areas like Jacksonville that is growing and the values are going up,” explains Holland.
Holland says before, we saw local investors buying homes in our area, but we’re now seeing companies from out of state investing.
“We see investors from Arizona, Texas, really from a lot of the states, but those are really two of the biggest states investing in our area.”
And the more investors buy up in our area, the more control they have of the market.
Holland explains, “You do have an impact especially when you look at more than 25% of the properties owned by investors. As that number keeps increasing and maybe eventually gets to a third of the properties, they will have an impact on the market as they put them back on the market for sale.”
This is making it even more difficult for people like Dixon to buy a home.
Dixon pleads, “Pump the brakes just a little bit so the little people can get what they need to get!”
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