MAILBAG: Real Estate Investors Are Absolutely Not The Reason You Don’t Have A House

After reading the recent letter complaining about realtors and real estate investors, I completely understand the feeling of despair that people have when homes double in prices and they completely missed it. It’s terrible, and there probably has never been something like the price appreciation that we just had during covid. However, to try and paint the investors as the main cause – or even a significant cause – is simply ignorant.

Investors jump in when real estate is going up so they can make money on the jump in prices. They don’t cause the jump in the first place. Obviously, more demand means higher prices and every additional person looking to buy will somewhat affect prices, but the reason house prices jumped was a combination of inflation and Lakewood becoming “the place to be” more than it ever was.

It is also worth noting that the letter writer implied that real estate agents are purposely colluding with investors to drive prices up. This simply isn’t true. Myself and every other agent I know only want to sell houses; that’s how we make money. Being that we make such a small percentage of the sale as commission, trying to drive prices up by a few thousand dollars wouldn’t do much for us. It would waste a tremendous amount of energy we would be better off trying to sell another home.

I’m also not sure where the letter writer got the number that 25% of homes in Jackson are rentals. For starters, I highly doubt that number is accurate at all. Secondly, how many of those homes are owned by people who plan to move into it themselves and simply got themselves a good deal by proactively buying it when it was cheaper? How many of those houses were bought by parents whose children are renting it back from them? These are questions that have to be answered before making such a bold statement.

The fact is that if every investor was removed from the market over the last 3 years, prices would still be somewhat similar to where we are now. There are going to be individual stories of a nice person not getting a house because an investor grabbed it, and it’s not fun when that happens. But please don’t paint any group such as investors or realtors as being the cause of today’s prices. It’s completely fake news and nothing more than an attempt to find a scapegoat.

A local real estate agent 

The views expressed in this letter do not necessarily represent those of Lakewood Alerts. Have an opinion you would like to share? Send it to for review. 


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  1. I don’t agree with you. There are so many houses bought by investors. Besides losing the house you bid on to an investor. There are less houses available which therefore causes the price increase. The price buyers have to offer over the asking price is $50-100k. Don’t tell me you make very little on that. The price increases a crazy amount in a short period of time. It definitely is the investors and the real estate agents.

  2. The matter of investors, causing a rise and price or not, is only one part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that they buy the houses put less than stellar families in there and completely ruin the neighborhood.
    As well as now that the investor bought it from couple did not buy it and contribute to the minyan
    And the real estate agents The cater primarily to investors

  3. There are some real estate agents (probably a small minority of agents) that do collude with investors on deciding where the “hot new market” is. It’s a win win for them, the investors have a house in a neighborhood which will soon have more frum families which will make the price of the investment home go up and the agent has a new area that they can show to their clients. They then proceed to tell clients that you need to check out this area. The issue is, a real estate agent is supposed to be working for the best interest of the client, not for anyone else…

    I only know this because I had an agent that insisted on showing me houses in a particular neighborhood when I had repeatedly told her that I was not interested in that area.

  4. The issue is not about agents selling to investors, or agents making money
    it’s about investors coming into small growing communities and completely destroying it by putting in multiple tenants and destroying the quality of life, Investors that never ever plan on moving in

    there are lots of opportunities for investors throughout the entire United States don’t come to a small growing community and ruin it for everyone…

  5. Many of these investors are Lakewood families who have been here for 40 to 50 years and desperately need housing fir their married children. They can’t afford to wait till their married kids are ready to move in ,because by that time, these houses will not be affordable to them .

    • So kill the neighborhood for the people that are already there? Why not rent the house out to yungeleit until their children are ready?

  6. Investors are a cause – In other places such as Toronto they basically banned investors. They definitely play a nice roll in driving up the price. Investors come in early to make the $ They don’t start coming in late in the game like you claim. They drive up the prices as sellers know there’s always an investor that’ll overpay for the home..

  7. Right and wrong.

    They buy the houses that need work or can’t sell
    For the right price and they offer cash.

    Fact is that many people would buy a house with $200,000 in equity and put in the work but they can’t compete with the cash and quick close etc.

    House in brookwood one sold for 450k relisted 3 months later (redone very nicely) for $699k

    It’s a nice house but the new buyer now has to cover the original price, the construction cost, the selling costs, holding costs etc, and the investors profit

    A lot of buyers would’ve been happy to buy and do the work slowly and get the house for $250K less.

    I’m not saying that specific house could’ve gotten a mortgage or could’ve even sold on the regular price I’m
    just giving an example how investors and brokers (advising what to put in the offer knowing that if the buyer gets it they’ll sell with them) can sometimes ruin the market or drive up prices.

    Regardless – move out of Lakewood!

  8. Of course investors kill the supply and increase the demand. They also often have more resources than young families looking to buy might have. What a silly post by a defensive agent. Look what happens when a family puts in a bid at or above the asking price and an investor swoops in and takes it, making homeowners even more desperate to raise the bar and driving up prices even more. How do you do your math? when you say investors on come because prices are high how exactly did that happen if not for the bidding wars they contribute to?

    • You are of course 100% right. This letter is pathetic.
      IN my neighborhood in Howell in the past month alone investors snatched up 4 out of 5 houses that went on the market. And the one house that didn’t go to an investor, went to someone who was desperate, he needed to offer 100k+ above asking to counterbid an investor. And of course our neighborhood is still struggling for a minyan, thanks to the greedy investors that snatch up everything.

  9. You are either 1. Not a real estate agent 2. very new to the job 3. Highly incompetent 4. Not involved in the Lakewood market

    Anyone that’s been involved just a little the past few years, knows good and well that investors are definitely a significant part of why prices are going up.
    If on almost every house available, investors come in and put cash offers 50k over asking, that causes prices to go up. There’s no two ways to look at this. Makes no difference if you’re sitting, standing, eating popcorn, or doing a tumblesauce. Investors are causing prices to go up. The end.

  10. It’s called capitalism
    supply and demand dictate the price.
    Every alternative system has delivered worse results.
    Hatzlacha and Bracha.
    Houses are still cheap in Manchester and Brick.

    • That’s quite an irrelevant point. Did you ever hear someone argue that the cause of prices going up is not supply and demand?

      Greedy investors always jump in the second some poor jews get together to start a community. They choke the supply of houses, cause prices to skyrocket, and leave the people who started the neighborhood hanging to dry. Yes, that’s because of capitalism. In the times of Chazal these people would be put in cherem, if not worse.
      But what’s your point?

      • False. Only if they were uniting as a monopoly to price gouge would they be put in Cherem. Stop making things up, there is no monopoly or coordinated price gouging. There is more demand than supply, and insane inflation.

    • 100 percent agree. Evryone has to make business and if you don’t like captalism and economics, then you will not ever be able to make money. If you want to move to places that don’t have investors nearby, you won’t have shuls and many other amenities which are sponsored by the people who have money. Not that I think they are better in any way, but that’s what it costs living in a democratic country BH. In Russia, they will not allow this. That’s all partb of the benefit of living in a Free Country.

      • Such a nonsensical post no point in even responding. Glad to hear investors are sponsoring shuls for the few jews they allowed to buy houses. For some reason the investors in my neighborhood didn’t get the memo. Nor in any other neighborhood, for that matter.


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