Escalating home prices and mortgage rates prompted many investors to pull back from housing, causing current homeowners to become the main buying force behind the real estate market.
According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage FinanceHousingPulse Tracking Survey, current homeowners were the only group that saw its share of home purchases increase in June — from 43.8% in May to 44.6% last month based on a three-month average.
First-time homebuyers have backed away ever so slightly, with their market share going from 36.0% to 35.7% during the same one-month period.
But the real highlight of the report was the investor share of home purchase transactions, which fell to 19.7%, the lowest level recorded since September 2012.
For the fourth month in a row, the HousingPulse investor traffic index fell, this month more sharply than either the current homeowner traffic index or the first-time homebuyer index.
The survey’s respondents linked the ongoing decline in investor activity to rising home prices coupled with less opportunity for investors to flip homes.
A shrinking supply of distressed properties is doing investors no favors either. The HousingPulse Distressed Property Index revealed that the percentage of home purchases involving foreclosures or short sales fell to 28.2% in June, a significant drop from the 40.3% level recorded a year earlier. This also represented the lowest distressed property share recorded in at least three and a half years.