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Investing in Elm Street: What Happens When Firms Buy Up Houses?


  • Lauren Lambie-Hanson
  • Michael Slonkosky
  • Wenli Li


Since the onset of the mortgage crisis in 2007, a much larger than normal share of single-family houses listed for sale in the U.S. each year has been purchased by institutional investors?Wall Street firms, real estate trusts, international funds, and so on. This phenomenon has been easing since 2013, but investor activity remains widespread and is particularly prevalent in high-foreclosure areas such as Las Vegas and Atlanta, where prices had soared during the housing bubble and, after the crash, severe house price downturns occurred. This trend is also growing in areas of the country where real estate is highly priced such as Miami and New York City. In some cities, investors have bought more than a quarter of the houses sold since the early 2000s, far more than the less than 5 percent purchased by investors prior to the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Lauren Lambie-Hanson & Michael Slonkosky & Wenli Li, 2018. "Investing in Elm Street: What Happens When Firms Buy Up Houses?," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, pages 9-14, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpei:00031

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    housing crises; house sales;


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