Corporate investors are buying up properties across Mecklenburg County: What’s the solution?

If you’re looking to buy a home in Charlotte, you already know how tough the market is.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - If you’re looking to buy a home in Charlotte, you already know how tough the market is.

It’s even harder due to a lack of inventory, in part by corporations buying out properties to rent.

“They’re not only competing against other buyers, they’re now competing against corporations,” Realtor Lisa Plaskett told WBTV. “The corporations are able to come in, they’re able to offer cash-only deals, they’re able to offer no contingencies.”

Plaskett says over the past few months it has become more and more challenging for people to buy a home.

According to data from Redfin, in the fourth quarter of 2021, 32.1% of homes purchased in Charlotte were bought by investors, with a median sales price of $305,000.

“I would love to say I see it petering out, but based on the information we’re getting it’s not gonna happen anytime soon,” she said.

Community leaders are suggesting solutions to the commissioners including a grassroots education campaign on the value of selling to individuals, a revolving loan fund to compete with corporate buyers, and community land trusts.

Local homeowners associations are also taking matters into their own hands by setting rental caps in some instances.

Most commissioners agreed they want to keep this conversation going.

Commissioner Mark Jerrell says he is concerned about how these corporations are purchasing most of their properties in the crescent of Mecklenburg County.

“There’s nothing illegal about what these corporations are doing, but it’s certainly not ethical,” he said. “Frankly this is disgusting. This is taking advantage of our most vulnerable in this community.”

Commissioner Laura Meier asked whether the county could tax corporate-owned property more than others, but the county attorney said they have to have a uniform tax system.

He also said the county would face a legal challenge trying to set forth a county-wide rule on this.

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