I think so.
Imagine every home sold gets purchased by an investor with the intention to rent. That makes for a lot of homes that are "up for grabs" for renters. The new homeowners (banks, Investors, etc) will certainly try to maximize rent, but having to compete with other investors to occupy their homes, there will be downward pressure on rents.
As a renter, I want there to be as many rentable homes out there as possible. What hurts is when a large number of homes are owner-occupied and thus off-limits. In those cases, when a rare rental crops up it will for sure be taken quickly.
So, "Go Investment Bubble!"?
On the same token, what if the gigantic TBTF banks, that own our government, owned a huge percentage of rentals? I can guarantee that you would see price fixing, and they would lobby for the repeal of any renters' rights laws that are currently on the books.
You boys are too dramatic over this. Housing will follow supply and demand curve unless government gets involved again into deciding who should or should not own.
Right now I'm seeing a lot of investment in real estate. Mostly it's by pension funds, which have more liabilities than income, which are investing into risky (praying for high returns) ventures.
Supply and demand is correct. I'm saying with massive ownership by investors, the supply for renters will be huge. If one landlord raises rent, the fluid renter can easily shop around for another.
The only problem, as mentioned above, is if one person owns them all, or if all owners are in collusion. But unlike a stock, each home is different. Managing them all would be very difficult for one person or even a colluded entity.
So there is probably some truth to cynical statements that the middle class is going to see a squeeze that has not been seen since the era of robber barons? All indicators point to it as far as I can tell. House prices are rocketing, and the fact that investors are buying them will force huge swaths of uncompetitive first-time buyers to rent, which has certainly been showing that it will lead to rent increases over the last year or so.