ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Investment firms are purchasing thousands of single-family homes around the U.S. and in Central Florida, which has made it harder for local buyers to close on homes.
Kenneth Wilder, a real estate agent with Creegan Group, said his clients have been on the hunt for homes, but lately it has been tough to close a deal.
“I have buyers that are super interested in purchasing their home and we (have) just been getting outbid,” Wilder said.
Like his clients, Wilder is also searching for a home. He said he wants something that can accommodate his whole family, but it has been just as difficult for him to buy.
“You would think, as a real estate agent, I’m able to find the perfect home,” he said.
Wilder said buyers become discouraged when vying for homes. Some of his clients are up against buyers making cash offers.
Data compiled from Floridarealtors.org shows from the beginning of the year to March, there were 2,770 cash sales in the Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford metropolitan statistical areas.
That a 30% increase from last year.
Kristin Creegan, owner of Creegan Group, said investors are putting their money into housing because the market is appreciating.
“The bread and butter is the single-family home,” Creegan said.
She said investors are buying standard homes and putting them on the market as rentals.
“Rents in Orlando have gone sky-high, of course, because (of) the supply-demand issue, so they’re making money off these renters,” Creegan said.
She said investors close on homes quickly with cash, short inspection periods and flexible terms.
It is usually an offer sellers have a hard time passing up.
Creegan said homeownership has social and economic benefits, urging buyers not to give up on the search.
“You’re happier when you own a home, you care more about the house, you put down roots, and you care about the community — and you pour back into the community when you own a piece of it,” Creegan said.
Although the process can be frustrating and can take longer than expected, Creegan believes it is worth the wait.
“I just really believe in the housing market as a tool to build wealth as well, so I want that for the families, for sure. I don’t want these investors to get any richer than they already are,” Creegan said.