And this is why you can’t afford anything:
Standing in the dining room of the early 1900s-era brick rowhouse, deep in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn with not a frozen yogurt shop or Starbucks to be found, Alan Dixon, an investor from Australia, struggled to tally the houses he had bought in the area over the last year.
Alan Dixon of Australian-based Dixon Advisory is leading investments in residential properties in the New York area.
“What, 70? 72?” he asked, raising his eyebrows in question at a group of investors, contractors and designers standing nearby. A dozen construction workers scurried around, fastening plasterboard to walls and laying tile on floors, readying the four-bedroom house that the group purchased in June for $635,000 for leasing in less than two weeks’ time for as much as $5,490 a month.
Finally, someone locates the number on a piece of paper — 70, later corrected to 71. “That sounds right. Something like that,” Mr. Dixon said with a laugh, tugging on the cuff of the pink shirt he wore under his gray suit jacket.
It’s easy to understand why it might be difficult for Mr. Dixon to keep track. In just two years, the investment fund he oversees for Australian investors and retirees has purchased more than 538 homes, townhouses and brownstones from Jersey City to Queens and Brooklyn [...]
A handful of large private equity and real estate investment firms, including the Blackstone Group and Colony Capital, have bought billions of dollars’ worth of single-family homes in some of the areas most affected by the housing collapse.
The goal for these Wall Street investors is not to buy and flip the properties for a quick profit à la real estate bubble of the early 2000s. Instead, they are hunting for steady, dividend-like returns they believe can be earned by renting out the homes.
Where these investors see opportunity, however, their critics see opportunists. They say these types of investors, be they giants like Blackstone or smaller firms like Mr. Dixon’s, often come in waving wads of cash and crowd out first-time home buyers[..]
Some real estate agents say investors, more often than not, have been at the forefront of buying activity.
“I’d say by the spring, maybe 70 percent of the sales we were seeing were to hedge funds, investors and others taking advantage of what was happening in Brooklyn,” said Stephanie O’Brien, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman in Brooklyn. “Only about 30 percent were actual end users or first-time buyers.”