Unfortunately, the influx of capital represents a loss of wealth for the area, not a gain:
The dream buyer is American Homes 4 Rent, a Malibu, Calif., company that since late December has paid nearly $13.3 million in cash for 81 houses in Wake County, according to property records. The company, which formed last year, is one of several firms hoping to profit from rising home prices by amassing thousands of single-family homes across the country and converting them into rentals.
My initial reaction when this story slid by my eyes was that there must be some local connection, somebody here on the ground that greased the skids for this. I haven't found one yet, but that's not as heartening as it should be. That means these investors see an economic situation where upper middle class people would be more amenable to rent instead of buy, and that's not a good thing. Not to mention, the new landlords might not be as responsible as others:
At a Conway-area house purchased by American Homes 4 Rent in February, the two-bay garage door with windows in it collapsed a couple of weeks ago. Mold was visible on the exterior of the home's second floor, and weeds had started to overtake the yard.
A renter at the house said her family was paying $1,100 a month in rent for the waterfront property, which she said needed a lot of repairs. She said she had rented the house before the current owners bought it, and no one representing them came to see it for months after the purchase.
A few doors away on that same quiet street of Mediterranean-style homes lives Debi Robertson, who says her homeowner association has suffered because some investor-owners have failed to pay their association fees of $165 a quarter. The neighborhood needs new walls, and the homeowners who live there should not be the only ones to pay for such improvements, she said.
I realize this story strays from the usual political "beat" readers are used to here, but for those who comprehend the real reasons behind the current recession and all the political ramifications of such, trends in real estate investment should be somewhere near the top of your watch list.