Online RE Management Firm Expands

HomeUnion, an online real-estate investment management firm, enabling value investing in single-family rental (SFR) properties, announced today that it has added Columbia, S.C. to its list of active investment markets. With the addition of Columbia, HomeUnion offers SFR-investment properties in 23 markets, with listings and investment parameters available through the company’s secure website.

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According to HomeUnion’s Fourth Quarter Market Report for Columbia, S.C. (attached) the demand for rental homes outpaces inventory, and vacancy rates are projected to reach 6.7 percent at the end of the year, down 80 basis points from 2014. This is fueling rent prices that are projected to grow 3.5 percent to $1,142 per month. Demand is being driven by public sector employment, specifically local military bases. Fort Jackson, which hosts half of the Army’s new recruits for basic training employs 3,500 civilians and is the permanent home to more than 10,000 soldiers on the west side of the metro. Nearly 50,000 retirees and their families also utilize the base for services. Between the military, state, and local governments, 1,600 public-sector jobs have been added in the past 12 months.

“The continued growth and stability in Columbia’s labor, due to the presence of active and retired military personal as well as the civilian staff that supports the bases, combine to provide a solid economic base for SFR investments,” said Don Ganguly, CEO of HomeUnion. “This solid labor base with its strong rental demand supports the high cash flow yields that our investors are seeking as an alternative to the bond and equity markets.”

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Once a new market has been identified, HomeUnion hires real estate professionals who have an intimate working knowledge of the neighborhoods, property values and rental rates to verify the investment potential. That professional validates the in-depth analytics with local expertise and for Columbia, HomeUnion has hired real estate veteran Lauren Taylor to fill this role. The company, therefore, combines local expertise and advanced analytics before offering any SFR investment property on their website.

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