Fort Worth (CBSDFW.COM) – Even as the housing market begins to cool, much of North Texas remains hot for investors.
According to data from a real estate research company core logicnearly a third of the homes sold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in August were purchased by investors.
Over the past 18 months, investors across the country have purchased a record number of homes.
Investors bought more than 50% of all homes sold in 21 zip codes in the DFW area last year, according to a CBS 11 News analysis of CoreLogic data. Three of the top five zip codes with the highest percentage of investor-purchased homes were in older neighborhoods just outside downtown Fort Worth.
Investors said low housing prices made these areas attractive.
When investor activity began to pick up in January 2021, the average listing price for single-family homes in these 21 zip codes was $213,000, according to Realtor.com data.
“It’s a great time for these neighborhoods to gentrify,” said Joe Boston, a mid-sized residential investor.
Boston currently owns 17 properties, many of which are east of Fort Worth. While large corporate investors often hold properties as rentals, Boston typically buys properties and then flips them over.
“I think we are one of the community saviors,” he said. “Often we’re frowned upon for profit, but we’re improving these areas behind the scenes.”
For established homeowners, the influx of investor buyers comes with concerns. Home values increase as investor activity increases, but so do rents and property taxes in many cases.
“Who’s still here feels like survival of the fittest,” said Diana Martinez, whose family has owned a home on the east side of Fort Worth for more than 25 years. People call me three to five times a day, it’s like where is the ‘for sale’ sign, and I’m really curious where it is because I can’t see it anywhere.”
Many of her neighbors have sold their homes in recent years, but when asked by investors, Martinez’s answer is no.
“For me, it’s where I grew up,” she explained. That is the case with the first generation.”
During a U.S. Senate hearing earlier this year, Democratic lawmakers accused big business investors of devouring homes during the pandemic, especially in minority neighborhoods.
Lawmakers testified that homes purchased by corporate investors went to first-time homebuyers and may have helped bridge the racial homeownership gap.
Based on U.S. Census data, out of the 21 North Texas zip codes where investors account for more than 50% of home sales, 20 are in neighborhoods with majority Black or Hispanic residents.