More than $1 billion worth of single-family rentals will be acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset management division, while Blackstone is looking to invest $120 billion in real estate. Notably, most of Blackstone’s investment is in REITs. This is a sign that the current U.S. housing market hasn’t scared investors away from suburban housing.

Here’s why you should care

This move by JP Morgan and Blackstone is the most recent sign that big investors are resolute by the unstable real estate market.

That’s why all investors, though particularly those looking to invest in U.S. real estate, should be very interested in JP Morgan & Blackstone’s real estate investment spree. Institutional investors have many advantages over retail investors. They have the backing of sometimes billions of dollars that allow them to accumulate properties at a high rate and profit from the rental income. They can also set the tone for the specific market by acquiring inventory where they believe rental yields will be the highest. 

If you are curious about institutional buyers and how buying single-family homes affect average investors, this article discusses why institutional investors buy single-family homes and what it means for you this year.

Coronavirus and real estate investing

The Coronavirus pandemic changed how we live, work, and act in many different ways. For instance, most corporate jobs now come with remote-optional benefits that allow employees to work from anywhere – including their own homes. This means that the demand for housing is increasing and contributing to a major change in home ownership.

Institutional investors continue buying real estate in major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and New York City. In particular, institutional buyers target single-family homes, which now make up over 13% of the residential real estate market.

U.S. housing market shortage

How bad is the U.S. housing shortage? According to Nadia Evangelou, the Senior Economist of the National Association of Realtors, “There doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.” Despite rising interest rates, the current shortage will likely worsen to more than a 5.5 million home shortage. With developers pulling back due to market uncertainty, rental yields are expected to see all-time highs in many markets. Large investors such as JP Morgan and Blackstone see these as opportunities; perhaps so should you. 

What does it mean to you as an individual investor?

Institutional investors bought almost 25 percent of all single-family homes sold last year. So how can you compete with institutional investors in today’s market? Below are our top tips for competing with big investors today:

Get pre-approved

As a U.S. expat or foreign national, in order to compete with other buyers, one of the best ways is to get pre-approved for the mortgage before you start your home search. This shows the seller that you’ve had the foresight to get a mortgage in place prior to looking for a property. With America Mortgages, you can get pre-approved within 48 hours, there is no application fee or charge for pre-approval, and we approve over 97% of all applications. 

Write a note to the seller 

Although this may seem “quirky,” in some markets, intense competition forced buyers to do anything they could to stand out among sometimes dozens of other offers on the same home in 2021. Writing a handwritten note to the seller is one way that buyers try to compete with institutional investors by persuading the sellers to choose them over others.

Work with a realtor that focuses on investment properties

Just as it’s important to work with a mortgage company that understands clients living outside the U.S. buying investment property in the U.S., a realtor that understands this is crucial. These realtors know the properties with the best yield potential in neighbourhoods with the best tenant profile. America Mortgages’ Concierge Service is a free service created to put our clients in touch with vetted realtors in specific markets to assist with finding a property that matches their requirements. 

Location. Location. Location. 

It may be cliché, but location is key when buying properties. Following similar locations that large institutional investors are looking at, gives you similar insight without the team of researchers and analysts they employ. Homes in cities that have little room for expansion tend to be more valuable than in cities that have a lot of room. Factors such as accessibility and proximity to parks, schools, railways, and public transportation can increase property values and rental yields. 

Tricks of the trade

Knowing what works with an offer to purchase real estate is important. There are often clauses or requests that can be added to a contract to lessen the cost out of pocket for the buyer. As an example, seller concession is a common clause used by many U.S. real estate buyers but is not well-known to global real estate investors. If a seller concession is approved, the buyer can significantly reduce the cost out of pocket as the seller of the property will pay for a lot of the buyer’s closing costs. These funds can be used to “buy down” the interest rate, make required improvements to the property, or as simple as paying for the appraisal report. 

Date the rate. Marry the property.

The idea is relatively straightforward. You buy a home you really want, regardless of available financing terms.
 
The mortgage rate you receive, even if it’s high today, isn’t your forever rate because you can always refinance down the road.
 
There will always be a time to refinance in the future once mortgage rates go down again. The property, on the other hand, may not be available. It’s a buyer’s market now. Take advantage of it.

Why work with America Mortgages?

As a company, America Mortgages’ only focus is providing U.S. mortgage financing for U.S. expats and foreign nationals. 100% of our clients are living and working abroad but buying U.S. real estate. We know exactly what is required to ensure your mortgage journey is stress-free by qualifying 97% of our clients for a U.S. mortgage.

Schedule a call with our U.S. mortgage specialist to determine your options today.