Real estate platform acquires West Jacksonville homes, many investors buy 1/3 of Duval County homes

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Ellen Kauffman and her family moved to Jacksonville at the end of March.

“The rental prices were very high,” she remembered. “We had a budget, and what we were looking to stay under and so it was kind of unsettling.”

The Kauffmans finally found their home to rent in the Treeline Trail community in west Jacksonville. It’s one of more than a hundred single-family rental homes acquired by Fundrise, a real estate investment platform, back in April.

“I know that the management has changed since we’ve been here in the three months, so I don’t have much to compare it to because it changed right after we moved,” Kauffman said.

Fundrise’s website says the Treeline Trail community is a part of its “strategy to invest in affordably-priced rental housing across the Sunbelt.”

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And Jacksonville is an investor’s hot spot, according to Redfin data.

For single-family homes, investors purchased 16% of homes sold in 2018, 19.5% in 2019, 15.5% in 2020, almost 30% in 2021, and in 2022′s first quarter about a third of Jacksonville single-family homes.

A Redfin representative said this puts Jacksonville at number two behind Atlanta for metros with the highest investor share.

“I’d like to see good, honest, hard-working Jacksonville people be able to get houses easier,” realtor and property manager Mike Boyle said.

He says the problem is that ordinary buyers can’t compete with investors.

“If you’re not a cash buyer like these big hedge funds are, the sellers are like, “oh, they’re gonna pay cash.”

This makes it much harder to buy a house, Boyle explained.

As for Kauffman, she doesn’t plan on renting forever.

“Eventually down the line, but we have some budgeting and debt to pay off and stuff like that,” she said.

Action News Jax asked the Duval County Property Appraiser how many single-family homes overall are currently owned by investors in Jacksonville. The office is currently working on our request.

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