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VERIFY: Yes, Wall Street rental companies own thousands of homes in the Charlotte area

Data from the UNC Urban Institute shows Wall Street-backed companies own over 11,000 homes in Mecklenburg County, most of which are affordable single-family units.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — QUESTION:  Do, Wall Street-backed rental companies own thousands of homes in Mecklenburg County

ANSWER: Yes, they own around 11,500 homes, according to data from UNC Urban Institute 

SOURCES:

WHAT WE FOUND: 

UNC looked at data trends on who is buying homes. In their research, they examined property records to identify owners with more than 100 houses in Mecklenburg County. These companies are buying homes and then renting them out to tenants. 

"Where they are concentrating most of their purchases is in middle-income areas and areas northeast and west of uptown, so there are definitely clusters where they are buying a lot of houses," said Portillo

The companies Portillo is talking about are six large Wall Street-backed rental companies. 

"Our analysis found that most of their purchases are on the lower end of the price range below the median, so really in that starter home, first purchase for someone, so that's where there is a lot of competition already," said Portillo. 

Looking at the data from UNC, in total, these companies own a little under 11,500 homes in Mecklenburg County. To give some perspective, Mecklenburg County has more than 268,000 single-family homes. These rental companies own about 4.3% of single-family homes in the county. 

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"The challenge for first-time home buyers is probably the hardest that it has ever been," said realtor Bobby Sisk. 

Sisk said first-time buyers are no match for companies with deep pockets and cash at hand. 

"When you are talking about homes that are $300,000 that have a good potential to be a rental property, you are always competing with a corporate investor," said Sisk. 

Portillo said when speaking with the rental companies, they explained they are helping families get into nice homes as renters, homes they would not have the means to purchase. 

Meghan Bragg: Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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