Kay Chapman and her boyfriend were saving up money to buy a home in the Las Vegas metro area while renting a home in a nearby town. But after months of plotting a strategy to buy a home at a foreclosure auction, they’ve given up for now and will soon move into another rental home–this one owned by private equity giant Blackstone Group.
Chapman and her boyfriend had to alter their strategy because the owner of the home they are currently renting from decided to sell after seeing how quickly home prices have surged in Sin City in the wake of all the institutional buying firms like Blackstone. Chapman’s current landlord wants far more for the house than she and her boyfriend are willing to pay.
So soon they’ll be moving into a Blackstone owned home, one of some 26,000 single-family homes the private equity giant has bought in US markets hard hit by the housing bust.
Chapman was one of the people featured in a Special Report detailing how the rush of money from Wall Street firms like Blackstone has created a buying frenzying for single-family homes in Las Vegas. The story examined the phenomena of fast-rising home prices in Sin City and other parts of the U.S. hard hit by the housing bust — much of which stems from big investors flushed with cash and starved for yield.
When I met Chapman and her live-in boyfriend during a visit to Las Vegas in early March, she told me they had gone month-to-month on a home they were renting in Enterprise, Nev. (a town on the southern fringe of Las Vegas) because they were hoping to buy something at one of the daily foreclosure auctions. But the couple quickly found just how difficult that was as the price of homes either got bid up by Blackstone and other buyers or they came to the auction lacking the proper paperwork.