Investor Demand in Housing Market Begins to Wane

11 09 2013

The proportion of investors involved in the housing market has fallen in the last few months. As their numbers dwindle, it may allow other buyers to step in. Can this be the sign that the housing market is cooling down?

Investors have gone from accounting for 23 percent of home purchases in February to about 20 percent in June – the lowest level since September 2012, according to data from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey.

Their numbers will likely decrease even more in the coming year. About 48 percent of investors recently surveyed say they plan to lessen their home purchases over the next year, according to a recent survey by ORC International. Only 20 percent of the investors surveyed say they plan to buy more homes in the next year, a drop from 39 percent 10 months earlier.

“Investors helped stabilize a housing market that was in free-fall and they did so by taking advantage of fire-sale home prices,” says Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Now you see few fewer bargain prices in the market and that’s a reason investor demand is coming off its peak.”

In recent years, many buyers – particularly first-time homebuyers – may have lost out to investors’ all-cash offers on homes. Both banks and sellers may have been lured by the quick deal that cash offers typically provide over offers from buyers who require financing.

But with less competition from investors, some housing experts say this may allow an opportunity for other potential buyers to get into the market.

Source: Reuters

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