Home » News » Ashwaubenon » Investors jumping into the local housing market

Investors jumping into the local housing market

This drone photo shows homes in Centennial Centre in Hobart. Recent data published in the Wall Street Journal shows a large spike in the number of single-family homes owned as investments in the Green Bay area. Photo Courtesy Arketype Inc.

By Ben Rodgers

BROWN COUNTY – Recent numbers published in the Wall Street Journal show the Green Bay area has seen a spike in the number of investor-owned, single-family homes.

An article published on July 9 in the newspaper titled “Rental Investors Gamble on Affluent Tenants” contains a graphic that shows the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area as the fastest growing market for rental home investments in the country with a 90.1 percent increase in investor-owned, single-family homes from March 2017 to 2018.

That equates to a total of roughly 26,500 homes, townhouses and condos, out of a total of nearly 109,000 in the Green Bay MSA that are owned as an investment.

The Green Bay MSA includes all of Brown, Oconto and Kewanee counties.

“We collect what we call ‘public record real estate data,’ what are deeds recorded at the county recorder offices, and the data from the county tax assessors offices,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, the California-based company that compiled the information for the graphs that were published in the Wall Street Journal. “The main source of data here includes information about all the parcels. It has tax information and property characteristics information. One of the characteristics is owner-occupancy.”

The owner-occupancy information was the key to determining the 90.1 percent increase as ATTOM poured through records to compare the number of homes being lived in by owners, and those lived in by people who are not the owners.

From that it can be concluded that any homes not owned by the people living in them are an investment for the owner.

“It’s possible they just own one (home), but we assume they own another one they live in,” Blomquist said. “But this is the home they don’t live in, and of course this is just in the Green Bay area, they could own other properties in other places.”

Additional records obtained by The Press from Attom break down those numbers in more detail.

Of the 26,500 residential properties owned by people who don’t live in them, more than 23,600 are homes, leaving just under 3,000 as condos and townhouses.

The advanced numbers also show that the groups listed in the top 25 of ownership own 1,046 of the 23,646, or 4.4 percent, that were bought in the year reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The largest owner of homes in the Green Bay MSA is the Oneida Nation with 203.

The Oneida Nation land acquisition plan states the tribe will allocate $12 million per year for property acquisition to reclaim lands and jurisdiction.

The tribe is followed by an LLC owned by Robert E. Toonen, owner of Toonen Properties, a company that rents luxury apartments in the Green Bay and Appleton areas, with 140 homes.

After this the numbers start to show residential home building companies with high numbers of ownership such as Lexington Homes with 67, Polo Point with 57 and Radue Homes with 31.

This could be due to the construction companies owning spec homes before they are sold to the public.

The vast majority of the remainder of the list is made up of people who own one additional home.

“Honestly that’s really the pattern we see across the country,” Blomquist said. “One thing this reveals to me, is it doesn’t look like any of the big private equity hedge fund firms that have gotten into this business nationwide are involved in Green Bay.”

The Wall Street Journal Article focuses on groups backed by big equity firms purchasing single family homes, which Blomquist said is happening in cities like Atlanta and Jacksonville, but not here in Green Bay.

He said in other markets groups backed by big firms purchase thousands of homes for rentals, and construction companies also build homes with the intent of renting them from the start.

“When we really look at who is owning these homes, it’s not that some big Wall Street firm has come in and started purchasing homes in Green Bay,” Blomquist said. “It really appears to be more of a long tail of individual investors who are participating in the market.”

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top