Global investors gobbling up first-time homebuyer homes

Source: Peter Whoriskey, Spencer Woodman & Margot Gibbs, Washington Post

Over the past six years, 19 of the 32 homes on Tammy Sue Lane have been purchased by a billion-dollar investment venture, part of an unprecedented flow of global finance into the American suburbs. The venture, Progress Residential, acquires as many as 2,000 houses a month through the use of a computerized property-search algorithm and swift all-cash offers.

But according to previously undisclosed documents and dozens of interviews with renters and former employees, Progress Residential has been ringing up substantial profits for wealthy investors around the world while outbidding middle-class home buyers and subjecting tenants to what they allege are unfair rent hikes, shoddy maintenance and excessive fees.

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