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Buyer Demand Remains High Into the Winter as Investors Stir Up Competition

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Housing Markets

Buyer Demand Remains High Into the Winter as Investors Stir Up Competition

Why some buyers are making a market comeback at the end of the year


December 2, 2021
Home investor
Image: Stock.adobe.com

In a typically dormant season for home buying, consumers and investors are just as active as they were in the spring, pushing demand to new record highs while active listings steadily decline, The Washington Post reports. Buyers who struggled to find homes early in the year are trying their luck during the fall months, but they’re still squaring off against investor competition and finding even higher home prices in picked over, fast-paced markets. 

During the third quarter of 2021, a record 18.2 percent of all homes sold were purchased by investors, an 80.2 percent year-over-year increase from 2020. Rather than flipping the homes they buy, more investors are now generating rental income by turning single-family homes into rental properties.

Despite higher prices, homes continued to sell quickly. According to Redfin, 45 percent of homes sold within two weeks of being listed, and 32 percent sold within one week during the four-week period that ended Nov. 14. Both of those numbers were well above 2020 and 2019 figures.

A contributing factor to the lack of homes for sale and the rising prices is the increased appetite among investors for houses. Rather than buy and flip the properties to new buyers, more investors today are keeping the homes for rental income, according to Redfin. Rental demand has been rising in recent years among would-be buyers who cannot find a place to buy or cannot afford homes in their preferred location.

The number of homes purchased by investors — 90,215 — during the third quarter of 2021 represents an 80.2 percent increase in the number of investor-purchased homes during the third quarter of 2020. 

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