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Report: Corporate investors contributing to housing crisis in Indiana

Fair Housing
Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-09 23:27:05-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A new report by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is outlining how corporate investors are buying up a significant amount of Indianapolis' single family homes.

FHCCI says these investors are a big reason why fewer and fewer Hoosiers are able to own a home.

According to the report, out of the nearly 259,385 single family homes in Marion County, 27,165 are owned by investors and 12,570 are owned by out of state investors.

"The out of state companies, by our calculation, is about $15 million to $20 million in rent each month," Amy Nelson, FHCCI Executive Director, said.

Nelson says out of state investors don't always make the best landlords.

"Our renters — very often they’re dealing with an absentee landlord and not getting repairs completed. They also have higher eviction rates, and because of their purchases of these homes, it takes away home ownership opportunities for those who want to become homeowners," Nelson said.

Rickesha Owens owns Keynote Realty Group and specializes in working with first time home buyers.

"It’s a challenge. You’re already in a market where there’s limited inventory. With the interest rates being that high people are not buying. It’s limited inventory. People are not selling, so when you’re getting into these multiple offer scenarios and you’re up against a large investment company, cash is king," Owens said.

Cash has been ruling sales on Indy's far east side. According to the report, from 2018 to 2022, more than half of the residential sales in that area were all-cash transactions. In Martindale-Brightwood, listing prices have gone up by 262% in the past five years.

"It’s commonly our neighborhoods of color because that's where they could pick up a number of the affordable homes coming out of the foreclosure crisis," Nelson said.

"Something has got to give because Indiana should not be a rental state. We’re doing too much development in Marion county and surrounding for us to kind of revert back and not allow the people invested in this community to be able to come up and have that wealth," Owens said.

Nelson says they're calling on state lawmakers to protect Indianapolis renters and future homeowners.

WRTV reached out the leaders of the Indiana House and Senate, but haven't heard back yet. Their ideas for solutions are outlined in the report.