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How private equity firms are fueling the housing crisis

New York Magazine – Intelligencer: “Nationwide, single-family homes — white-picketed symbols of the American Dream — are increasingly owned by far-flung investors, with the percentage held by landlords growing from 13 percent nationally to 17 percent between 2008 and 2016, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. These homes are offered to local residents only as rentals, reflecting a profound shift in who profits from homeownership today, with communities struggling at times to handle the fallout. Cerberus [Capital Management] has bought 20,730 homes since 2015, when it joined the Wall Street landlords club, according to FirstKey. It has spent at least an estimated $1.6 billion from its investment funds, which manage money raised from pensions, wealthy families and foundations. The number of rental homes owned by Cerberus nationwide has tripled in the past 1 1/2 years. The move to buy up thousands of rental homes is seen as a bet that many American households will remain locked out of the traditional homebuying market.”

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