The baby boomer investors that have begun to buy up single-family homes in order to turn them into rental properties have been labeled by Redfin Chief Executive Glenn Kelman as Landlord Nation. St. Louis Post Dispatch staffers Patrick Clark and Suzanne Woolley Bloomber take a look at the effect that these landlords are having on the single family market.

Calling their influx bad or good is made difficult by such factors as starter homes on the market dropping and single-family rental properties being at a 30-year high:

It’s too simple to say that the influx of new landlords has been a bad thing for home buyers, said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. When banks were hesitant to lend, cash buyers helped resuscitate comatose markets. Even now that investors are competing with would-be buyers, it’s not clear to Gudell that they’re taking precious housing stock off the market.

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