Investor purchases of homes and other residential properties fell for the third month in a row in July, according to the Campbell Inside Mortgage Finance Housing Pulse Tracking Survey.
The survey said investors accounted for just 19.6% of U.S. home purchases during the month, down from 23% in April. Despite higher sales of existing homes and condos in isolated markets across the country, including Miami it’s the lowest level of investor purchases in more than a year.
The number of first time home buyers rose to 36.9% during the month, according to the survey from 35.4% in June. Distressed home sales, including foreclosures and bank assisted short sales rose to almost half or 46.2% of sales in the month.
The housing market is increasingly dependent on investors to take up for the oversupply of properties on the market as the majority of current homeowners are unable to sell their homes at present market prices in order to move-up into another home.
The Campbell survey also found that lower demand from owner occupant purchasers has required investors to rent homes to tenants rather than sell or flip the properties to new buyers. “The inability of most investors to resell homes in the current housing environment has put a damper on their participation in the housing market this summer,” the survey said.
Slightly more than one out of four investor buyers were holding on to their new home purchases a year ago (28%), while 48% were in July.