Investor activity in a housing market often impacts rental and sales prices as supply and demand fluctuate in often unpredictable ways. Analysis of property-level data and neighborhood-wide trends suggests the following:
- Property sales volume has been increasing year-over-year in Greater Hazelwood since 2012.
- While rental prices and home sale prices have remained stagnant across the neighborhood as a whole (according to Zillow, a leading online housing listing aggregator) in the past few years, the increase in the sales volume and the Almono site’s development, combined with the fact that 72% of all properties sold in the first quarter of 2016 were purchased by investors, suggest that investors may play a larger role in Greater Hazelwood going forward.
The indicators that are typically used to evaluate the impacts of investor-owned properties on a neighborhood are
- the number of violations found, the number of building permits opened (to identify potential “flipping”), and
- the number of 311 requests made reporting unsafe conditions.
Unfortunately, at this point it’s challenging to measure any of those indicators in Greater Hazelwood due to the paucity of data (or in the case of building permits, not yet on the WPRDC) that exist at the neighborhood level on account of the fact that the WPRDC was only recently launched in October 2015. However, I used Zillow’s rental and homeownership price index for Greater Hazelwood as a whole, and found that there was a steady increase in housing prices in Greater Hazelwood from 1996 to 2014, at which point sales prices plummeted 24% in less than a year, to $49,400 where they approximately remain today.
The following graph depicts rental prices changes through time, revealing that average rates have not changed significantly since it’s rise to the $800 level between late 2011 and mid-2014.