At the start of the investment frenzy in January 2021, the average listed price for a single-family home was $213,000 in the 21 separate DFW zip codes that CoreLogic evaluated, according to Realtor.com. As of September 2022, the average listing home price in Dallas sat at $468,400, an increase of 18.6% year-over-year.
Home investment activity in neighborhoods outside of Fort Worth saw the sharpest increase over the past 18 months, based on an analysis of the data provided by CoreLogic. Investment in this area was partly fueled by the lower home prices relative to other zip codes in DFW. Between January 2021 and now, speculative investors purchased more than half of all for-sale homes in these neighborhoods.
“I think we are one of the saviors of communities,” mid-sized home investor Joe Boston told CBS. “A lot of the time we are frowned upon because of the profit, but we are behind the scenes improving these neighborhoods.”
Boston owns a portfolio of 17 real estate properties with many located on the east side of Fort Worth. With a primary investment goal of flipping properties, Boston says he is different from corporate investors who buy the homes for rental income.
Those critical of property investors often point to inflated home and rent prices as the reason for concern. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) accused investors of taking away the chance for first-time homebuyers to own a property and widening the homeownership gap at a U.S. Senate hearing earlier this year.
“It feels like survival of the fittest as to who will still be here,” Diana Martinez told CBS, a Fort Worth resident whose family owns a property on the east side of the city.
With 25 years of homeownership under her belt and no intention to sell her property, Martinez has grown frustrated with the numerous calls from investors who want to buy her home.
“We were getting three to five calls every day from people wanting to buy our house,” she said. “It’s kind of like, where’s the ‘for sale’ sign? We are really wondering where it is because I don’t see it anywhere.”
For Martinez, it is not the value of her home that makes it special, but the memories.
“For me, it’s where I grew up. My parents were the first in their family to become homeowners,” she explained. “That means something to people, especially if you are first generation.”