1 in 7 Homes Sold Last Year Was Purchased by Wall Street
How long before they own everything?
If you allow for-profit investment in residential real estate, it is mathematically inevitable that monopolists will eventually consume the entire sector.
And now that reality is starting to be borne out.
One in seven family homes sold this year is now owned by Wall Street.
1 in 7.
It’s even worse for large apartment buildings — half of them are now owned by tax-evading private equity firms.
It’s even worse when vile iBuyers like Zillow get involved — in some neighborhoods, 70+% of houses are sold straight to institutional investors.
Can you fathom how dangerous this is?
On a street of fifty houses, banksters and land-lord-leeches own at least seven.
In a tower of 400 units, anti-human alien corporations own at least two hundred.
And they’re just getting started.
Their American dream
Corporate America’s dream for you is dead simple:
They want to be the literal lord of your life.
They want you permanently shackled in generational subscription serfdom.
Month after month, year after year, they want you to pay more money to rent the things you used to be able to own outright for less.
It’s coming, my friends, and it’s coming fast.
This is what happens when you financialize an economy — when you turn everyday human necessities into tradeable, income-producing, securitized investments to be sold to the highest leveraged bidder.
Land-lorders contribute less than nothing
Someone tweeted me the other day that real estate investment in the form of for-profit land-lording was good for local economies.
Here’s what I wrote back:
You really don’t understand how real estate works. Shelter speculation doesn’t “bring in cash.” Outsiders spending money at restaurants, cinemas, and amusements parks brings in cash. Shelter speculation simply outbids local working money so it can install a hosepipe to siphon wealth out of that society for years to come. So the local economy loses twice: First because shelter prices skyrockets; second because wealth is drained out in the long-term.
Even Adam Smith, the king of capitalism, was against land-lorders. They are an unproductive drain on the productive economy, and they open a Pandora’s Box that allows bigger investors to slowly but surely outbid everyone on earth for owned homes.
The end of exploitation
We need to make it illegal to extract money from the contributor class via for-profit land-lording.
Empty houses, Airbnbs, second houses, rental houses… make them all illegal or tax them all out of existence. Homes should belong to active working contributors, not passive extractive leeches.
Right now, investors are sinking $85 billion into build-for-rent schemes — builders are developing hundreds of thousands of houses not to sell, but to rent-trap young families who’ve been priced out of purchasing.
If a tenant is forced to pay your mortgage, it means they will never be able to afford to pay their own. Renters are some of the poorest people in society, and it’s impossible to think they can ever jump the gap and somehow magically save two mortgage payments every month.
It’s making my thesis clearer and clearer by the day:
Affordable homeownership is a human right
Many centuries ago, before all the land in Wales was privatized, a family could find any piece of unclaimed land, and if they built a house and had smoke coming up the chimney by sunrise, this entitled them to throw an ax and claim all the land within its circumference.
Today, young workers face a game of monopoly where all the properties are already purchased and already have hotels on them. They’re simply doomed to rent-slave forever.
Think about the time-theft we’re all now enduring:
When all land was common land, a family could gather wood and stone and build a house in <500 hours.
Boomers could pay off their house in <5,000 hours of work.
Gen Z will pay banksters 50,000+ hours to rid themselves of a mortgage.
As for renters, they just get to pay every single month until the day they die.
Considering all land was once common, and now we’re stuck in a game of monopoly, I believe we need to enshrine affordable homeownership as a human right.
To get there, we’ll need to drastically increase supply and build millions of homes, but we’ll also need to drastically decrease demand — by driving land-lorders and for-profit investors out of residential real estate once and for all.
I’m telling you, friends, this is the only way out.
Calls to action
It shouldn’t surprise us that corporations are taking over the real estate market.
We already know that billionaires will control the entire globe’s resources within our lifetime.
There are real collective actions we can take to avert this crisis, but frankly, self-centered homeowners are loving all this free net worth growth, not realizing it’s already biting them in the a$$ and is going to destroy society.
If you are a land-lorder or you own more than one house, do the right thing and sell it to an owner-occupied working family immediately. Take a big shave on the sale price, too. I know several people who have, in the past year, accepted less than “market value” — because the market is a fraud, and it’s far better for a community to have another family instead of another Airbnb. (And let’s be honest, you’ll still be making a killing thanks to inflation — which is just stealing from the poorest people in society.)
If you know anyone who is a land-lorder or has a full-time Airbnb or works at a bank or in politics or investments, invite them over for a meal and have a heart-to-heart about the trajectory of our shared society. Help them see their role in this crisis, and inspire them to use their position of power to make a difference.
Email your current (s)elected politicians. Demand they ban Airbnb, for-profit land-lording, and institutional investment in residential real estate. Get everyone you know to do the same. And bearing in mind that they only listen to money, threaten to bankroll opposition candidates if they don’t permanently fix the unaffordability crisis.
If you’re an American who votes for Democrats/Republicans, a Canadian who votes for Liberals/Conservatives, or a Brit who votes for Conservatives/Labour… please stop. Stop voting for corporate-captured politicians who have proven they do not care about affordable homeownership for all. Vote, support, volunteer, and fund servant-hearted leaders to make affordable permanent shelter a human right, and start the necessary (and inevitable) process of de-financializing human necessities.
If you’re wealthy, or generous, or a killer fundraiser, or have tons of friends, buy pieces of land and start building affordable owner-occupier-only villages. We’re going to need millions of these if we’re to stave off the growing homelessness crisis.
Stop spending money at any company that lobbies governments, evades taxation, practices subscription serfdom, underpays its workers, undermines democracy, or buys residential real estate.
In other words: Shop less, shop local.
Oh, and one more thing: Tell everyone you know to do the same.
Corporations are already buying up one in seven houses.
If we don’t do something now, pretty soon, they’ll own them all.