DEFINITION of 'Absentee Owner'

An individual who owns a piece of real estate but does not live in it. An absentee owner may also be an entity such as a corporation or real estate investment trust (REIT). The real estate held by an absentee owner can range widely - while an individual may own a single condominium or apartment, a corporation may own a large chunk of real estate such as an apartment building or shopping mall. The primary motivation of absentee owners is to generate returns from their real estate holdings in the form of rental income and potential capital appreciation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Absentee Owner'

The proportion of absentee owners in the population at large is directly correlated to the degree of real estate speculation prevalent in the economy. A strong property market and economy coupled with relatively low interest rates may result in a higher proportion of absentee owners, while a sluggish market and economy may limit the number of absentee owners.

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