Investors soar as first-timers fade

Fresh data from Campbell Communications’ monthly survey of more than 1,500 real estate agents found that the investor market share of buy-side transactions has jumped nearly six points since November, while first-time buyers have fallen more than seven percentage points since October.

Sales to existing homeowners also have increased from October to January, and last month their market share overtook first-time buyers, 41.2 percent to 39.8 percent.
With increased supply of distressed properties and decreased demand from first-time homebuyers, average prices declined for damaged REO and even for non-distressed properties in January.

Both investors and first-time buyers tend to compete at the lower end of local housing markets and the Campbell survey found that first-time buyers are fading even the inventory of distressed properties (REOs, short sales, auction sales) increased from November through January. Short sales were the fastest growing category of distressed property types in December and January, increasing to 15.9 percent of all sales. Throughout 2009, they were generally only a tenth of all sales.

Source: RealEstateEconomyWatch.com, Steve Cook, (2/26/10)

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