FISHERS, Ind. — A rise in rental properties in Fishers has caught the attention of Mayor Scott Fadness who is concerned about the impact of that increase.

Over the last five years, nearly 1 out of 10 homes purchased in the city has been transformed in to a rental property.

“Of that one thousand nearly 33% of those were purchased by entities that were out of state,” Mayor Fadness said.

Those numbers came from a recent study commissioned by the city. Fadness said those companies are based in places like California, Georgia and New Jersey.

“What’s happening now is Wall Street is moving in purchasing these homes at a price that most people cannot compete with and turning it into a rental,” Mayor Fadness said. “The folks that move into those homes now and pay rent will never achieve the opportunity to generate or accumulate wealth.”

Fadness’ major concerns are around the lack of affordable housing this trend could create, as well as the opportunities it could take away from first-time home buyers.

“It creates an intense struggle because individuals who may be low to moderate income are searching for starter homes. First-time homebuyers essentially are competing against investment firms,” said Amy Nelson who serves as the executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana.

Nelson said these large firms are able to out-bid potential buyers leaving fewer options.

“These investment firms are coming with all cash offers in a typical buyer is not going to be able to compete with that,” Nelson said.

Nelson said there has been a lack of funding dedicated to affordable housing in Indiana. She’d like to see legislatures increase the cash flow towards those efforts.

“We have the funds to do it. COVID-19 pandemic money is coming and our state has a very strong surplus,” Nelson said. “Why aren’t we using that to ensure that individuals have stability in housing?”

Laws passed in recent years by the general assembly have made it nearly impossible for municipalities to regulate landlords. However, Mayor Fadness said he’s confident the city can get something done.

“I still think there’s another opportunity to work with our state legislature and think through what are some potential solutions to this,” Fadness said.

Nelson encouraged people to ask their elected representatives about housing issues before casting a ballot in this year’s elections.

We did attempt to reach the Central Indiana Real Estate Investor’s Association for comment but we’re still waiting to hear back.

You can view a full copy of the study below: