In less then five years, the number of Sacramento County single-family homes and duplexes owned by investors not living in them -- or even in the same neighborhood -- has jumped by 20,000, or 25 percent, according to a Bee review of county property tax records.
Investors today own about one in four single-family homes and duplexes in Sacramento County.
Competition for homes, particularly in distressed areas, is fierce.
Home prices remain low, largely due to continued short sales and foreclosures. Rents remain high, largely due to increased demand from residents who lost their homes to foreclosure. Investors look to buy low and quickly recoup their costs through rent payments.
In many cases, investors, who often pay cash, have pushed regular home buyers out of the market, particularly in places like Oak Park and South Sacramento.
This map shows, by ZIP code, the areas with the most growth in absentee home owners since November 2007.
Notes: Shown is growth in properties where the property tax bill is mailed to a different address than the home itself. Includes about 1,200 homes owned by banks.
Source: Bee review of data from Sacramento County Assessor's Office