Companies shopping for houses in bulk in Atlanta

The market for real estate in Atlanta is facing a new series of demanding buyers, namely locally-based companies. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the lower house prices in the city, coupled with the vast availability of foreclosed homes, have led to an increasing number of businesses snapping up houses in big volumes.

The news source reports that companies have shopped across foreclosed and short sale homes in recent months, in addition to traditionally listed family homes. While the companies purchasing homes have unique motivations - including renting the homes to employees or re-selling the houses - many local real estate experts agree that the companies have largely improved the housing market. Home prices have increased, the number of foreclosures has been stemmed and the companies are creating additional jobs for the local economy. Additionally, many of these companies believe that America's trend toward a 'rentership society' make the purchase of family homes a worthwhile investment strategy.

"We will buy 12 homes [in metro Atlanta] this month and 17 next month and will continue to ramp up," Doug Brien, the director of Waypoint Homes, told the news source. "We hope to get to a place where we are buying 100 a month. Investors have to come in and buy homes and provide homes for people who are locked out of ownership. They have families, kids, pets. Moving into an apartment is not an option for them."

Such innovative business practices by companies in Atlanta - providing possible homes for employees while maintaining the houses as a long-term investment strategy - could pay tremendous dividends for the local economy. According to the Saporta Report, nimble and innovative strategies in dealing with continuously emerging workforce challenges is the key to Atlanta's future prosperity. Along with purchasing houses to help prop up the local real estate market, companies are also engaging in programs such as Trade-Up, a pre-apprenticeship program that provides training in the buildings and construction industry. Additionally, Mayor Kasim Reed's commitment to making Atlanta a top 10 city for sustainable urban living puts an even greater onus on local companies and their commitments to such programs.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the added competition from these companies entering the housing market fray is boosting prices. Average foreclosure sale prices in the city rose by more than 9 percent through the first six months of the year, and median sale prices for all homes increased 16 percent in August from the same month the previous year.