Corporate landlords own thousands of homes in Mecklenburg. What can leaders do?

By Payton Guion, The Charlotte Observer


As institutional investors continue their squeeze on housing in Charlotte, county leaders met Tuesday to discuss what, if anything, they could do to wrangle the industry.

County commissioners were told that large investors own about 13,600 single-family homes in the county, according to a recent estimate by the county assessor’s office. These investors largely buy houses and rent them out.

“We need some clear guidance on what we can do,“ Commissioner Elaine Powell said during the meeting. “My lived experience is that the community is concerned about quality of life and what can we do to protect and preserve quality of life.”

She added: “I have not received one phone call to discuss the advantages of corporate landlords.”

The scale of investor-owned properties has contributed to problems in both the rental and for-sale housing markets in Mecklenburg County. During the fourth quarter of 2021, investors bought nearly one-third of houses sold in the Charlotte area, the real estate brokerage and research firm Redfin recently reported.

Several real estate agents and industry experts have told The Charlotte Observer that institutional investors are able to out-compete local homebuyers by paying all cash, often over the asking price. This activity, they say, has contributed to Charlotte’s spiking home costs.

A UNC Charlotte report on the state of the 2021 housing market found that housing prices jumped 16.3% from September 2020 to September 2021.

Read more at The Charlotte Observer


The Charlotte Journalism Collaborative is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems.