Powered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Biz Beat

Posted: 5:04 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013

Big investors continue hold on to metro Atlanta properties 

  • comment(5)


Home sales data photo
Between January 2011 and September 2013, investors purchased 37,329 properties in Georgia but sold only about 17 percent, or 6,527, RealtyTrac reported. (JOHNNY CRAWFORD/JCRAWFORD@AJC.COM)

By Christopher Seward

By now it’s no secret that there is a shortage of homes for sale in metro Atlanta, especially foreclosures, many of which have ended up in the hands of a few top investors.

A new report from real estate researchers at RealtyTrac shows major investors continue to hold on to the distressed properties they purchased at rock-bottom prices in the last few years, a buy-and-hold strategy that is contributing to a tight supply of homes.

Between January 2011 and September 2013, investors purchased 37,329 properties in Georgia but sold only about 17 percent, or 6,527, RealtyTrac reported.

Nationally, 22 percent of investor-purchased homes were resold, and resells were even higher among some of Georgia’s Southern neighbors. Twenty-seven percent of homes were resold in Tennessee and 24 percent in Florida.

Barry Bramlett, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Equity Depot, which tracks foreclosures, said the buy-and-hold strategy, along with homeowners who want to sell but can’t because values have not risen high enough to make it worth their while, has left the Atlanta market languishing.

“It looks like a dead market right now,” Bramlett said. “You drive around in many neighborhoods and whereas a few years ago you saw way too many for-sale signs and foreclosures, now there’s nothing. “

Investors like IH2 Property Georgia LP, THR Property Group and FREO Georgia LLC, the top 3 investors in Georgia, are renting houses for the time being to maximize their eventual profit on a sale. In some cases, companies are going public, making money by selling shares in their business.

RealtyTrac said the top 3 investors, who collectively purchased more than 4,000 homes between January 2011 and Sept. 2013, sold only 23 properties during the period, less than 0.6 percent. IH2 Property, which purchased 2,393 homes, sold only 18; THR purchased 1,099 but sold only four properties; and FREO purchased 681 but sold only one.

Metrostudy, which researches local housing trends, recently reported metro Atlanta continues to carry only a four-month supply of available homes for sale. A six- to seven-month supply is considered normal.

The tight market, however, continues to help push home values higher. The value of IH2 Property’s portfolio, for example, rose 24 percent between January 2011 and this past September, while THR’s portfolio value rose 20 percent and FREO’s rose 18 percent.

About Christopher Seward

Christopher Seward is a South Carolina native and Atlanta journalist who has worked at the AJC since 1989.

Connect with Christopher Seward on:Twitter

Send Christopher Seward an email.

  • comment(5)


Today on MyAJC.com

Spring Street through the years

Flashback fotos: A journey down Spring Street, 1930-1985

One of Atlanta's major thoroughfares, Spring Street has been the home to some of our city's iconic landmarks.

Exterior view

Private Quarters: DIY projects complete Marietta home

Mark and Mary Jo Kovacs purchased the five bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home and put their own touches on everything but the kitchen and bathrooms.

Georgia EOCT scores 2014: School-by-school

2014 End of Course test results, school-by-school The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia has released the updated school-level results for the 2014 End of Course Tests, a standardized test given mainly to high school students.

Subscribe to the AJC on your device

24-hour Digital Pass: Flashback

See Flashback Fotos on myajc.com for only 99 cents. Visit the MyAJC archives for a historic look at Atlanta from Midtown in the 70s to Auburn Avenue and even life here before traffic jams on the interstates.

In your community

Annual Woofstock event in Suwanee

Volunteering in Atlanta

Learn how to volunteer in Atlanta and north Georgia, browse volunteer events and search local groups who need volunteers in the arts, community, food programs, housing, animal rescue and more.

Top news now from the AJC

Fatal wreck closes I-20 eastbound in DeKalb

All eastbound lanes of I-20 in DeKalb County were shut down during the early stages of Friday’s morning commute while authorities investigated and cleared a fatal wreck involving a tractor-trailer and a smaller vehicle.