In the Before the years prior to what has been styled the pandemic (which it was, in the sense that metastatic hypochondria spread like cooties at a 70s key party) when a house sold it was usually occupied shortly thereafter by the people who bought it.
In the After our now when houses sell they often remain empty sometimes for years. Which makes one wonder about who bought them.
There are two such houses on my country road, which is not far from the middle of nowhere, in rural SW Virginia. One of these was owned by a friend of mine who had to sell because he got divorced and lost his house. That was more than a year ago now and the house remains unoccupied. Another house up the road also sold about six months ago and has yet to be occupied.
Interestingly, both houses sold almost immediately as in within 24 hours of being listed and at wildly inflated (for this area) prices.
This is apparently happening all over the country, perhaps on account of the dearth of new construction caused by the Biden Things uncontrolled demolition of supply chains. There is also the factor of affluent people selling their homes in places such as the DC suburbs and so on at even more wildly inflated prices, using the proceeds to get out of those areas before the next round of lockdowns, which are less practiced in more rural areas.
Or at least it was happening, until the Things uncontrolled demolition of the economy triggered a rise in interest rates which appears to have popped this bubbly real-estate market.
It still does not explain what is going on with these houses that have been selling that no ones living in.
Thats what houses are for, after all. Wouldnt you think it strange if car dealership lots were full up with cars that had been sold?
Its possible, in some cases, that people bought these just-sitting- there houses as a fallback. A home to go to when their current home becomes untenable, when the pandemic waxes, again.
Or as in the case of the properties on my road it is possible people may have bought them as second/vacation homes as my area is considered a nice area to get away from it all.
But it is unlikely that both of these homes fall into either case.
It is certainly the case in the 20 years Ive lived on this road that when a home sold, the new people are living in it within a month of the sale. It has never been the case that even one home on my road sold and then sat for a year-plus, ongoing with no one home.
No one even visiting which I would have noticed as I am home almost all the time, because I work from home. Besides which, this is a close- knit, everyone-knows-everyone road. If new people had moved into my old friends house which is just down the road from my house I would know about it because everyone I know would know. And we all know each other. One of us would know and then so would everyone else.
Thats how it works in rural USA
So its a safe bet no ones home in either home.
Nor visiting these homes, either.
This suggests these homes were bought as investments and probably not by private parties, as there arent many of those who can afford to buy second homes out in the country they neither live in, even part-time, nor rent to anyone. It takes a thick wallet to leave a $300,000-plus house just sitting, unoccupied, for years.
But corporations such as BlackRock and Vanguard have very thick wallets. The former is reportedly flush with $10 trillion not billion in assets under management.
What could that mean?
Do those assets include private homes no longer owned by private individuals? And why would BlackRock want to own formerly private, single-family homes? These were in the Before not considered investments but rather places to live. What are they considered now?
Apparently, BlackRock has been investing in private homes even whole neighborhoods, which it has financial wherewithal to do. What could the reasons be for this investment and why just let those investment sit for years without generating any return on that investment?
A house just-sitting (and not appreciating) is costing. Capital is tied up. Property taxes must still be paid, even by big corporations and unless the powers been turned off there are still utility bills to be paid, too. Maintenance that must be performed to keep the house from becoming a liability.
The answer seems to be that either BlackRock, et al were expecting the real estate bubble to continue inflating and then make a killing on re- selling these properties at even more wildly inflated prices . . . or the strategy is to inflate the value of all the real estate in the vicinity the value of which is tied to what sold and for what in order to drive those still living in their homes out of them, by making the property taxes so high that few can afford to pay them.
And thereby force the remaining owners to vacate their houses.
Which BlackRock can then rent back to them and thereby achieve cashflow in perpetuity, since renters never own. They therefore never stop paying and for that reason are always at the mercy of whomever owns the place they are being allowed to occupy. Even if if they pay the rent, they live there at the pleasure of the landlord. A landlord who may be displeased by anyone not vaccinated, say. Or who does not stand with whatever the latest thing happens to be.
It may simply be another effort at enserfment.
Displace the owners in favor of renters. Bring in subsidized (Section 8) occupants. The government paying the rent to the corporations, which serve the aims of government by affirmatively furthering fair housing this being the actual term being bandied about. It means cleaving what had been enclaves of private, individual home-ownership (and peace and quiet for exactly that reason) into suburban and even rural simulacrums of the inner cities.
This is wanted for several evil reasons, including the diffusion of red areas of the country into purple-then-blue areas, so as to assure rule by Leftists who promise free things as a right in exchange for everyone having no rights, other than to do as they are told, by Leftists. Who also now control the corporations.
Hopefully, its just a case of unoccupied homes that will soon have private owners living in them again.
But it gives me the creeps to see them just sitting there, unoccupied and thinking about who (about what) might have bought them, more than a year ago.