Discussion Paper

Corporate Landlords, Institutional Investors, and Displacement: Eviction Rates in SingleFamily Rentals

Abstract: In this research we document the eviction crisis in the city of Atlanta and adjacent suburbs. We place eviction-driven housing instability in the broader context of changing housing markets, examining the relationships between post-foreclosure single-family rentals, large corporate landlords, and eviction rates. The rise of the large corporate landlord in the single-family rental market has the potential to rehabilitate vacant properties and offer affordable housing in desirable neighborhoods, or conversely could perpetuate housing instability and spatial inequality. To understand the eviction rate in Atlanta and investigate how corporate ownership relates to housing instability, we use a unique data set: publicly available, parcel-level eviction records from Fulton County, Georgia. We document a high, spatially concentrated eviction rate. Over 20 percent of all rental households received an eviction notice in 2015 and up to 12.2 percent of all households were forcibly displaced. Evictions are spatially concentrated: in some zip codes over 40 percent of all rental households received an eviction notice and over 15 percent of all households were evicted. {{p}} Examining single-family rentals with a cross-sectional regression, we find that large corporate owners of single-family rentals, which we define as firms with more than 15 single-family rental homes in Fulton County, are 8 percent more likely than small landlords to file eviction notices. Although evictions are highly correlated with neighborhood characteristics such as education levels, change in the employment-population rate, and racial composition, the trend holds true even after controlling for property and neighborhood characteristics. Another analysis identifies large private equity investors and finds that some firms have uniquely high eviction rates. Some of the largest firms file eviction notices on a third of their properties in a year and have an 18 percent higher housing instability rate even after controlling for property and neighborhood characteristics.

Keywords: evictions; institutional investors; private equity; Atlanta; post-foreclosure; single-family rental;

JEL Classification: R3;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Part of Series: FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper

Publication Date: 2016-12-01

Number: 2016-4