Housing in the US has been inconsistent recently. However, new analysis shows that it’s worse than people think. Basically, the number of single-family homes bought by investors has gone down by 29%.

Even big businesses that typically buy thousands of new homes have cut down on spending. Why? You can blame increased interest rates and high real estate prices.

Investors Are Pulling Back

It’s normal for big real estate companies to buy and invest in property throughout the US every year. Mark Cuban explained that these establishments trade for their clients. Therefore, the investors can double their investment through properties.

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However, these companies have been more careful with their spending recently. They cut their purchases by almost 200,000, from 802,000 in 2022 to 570,000 in 2023.

It Gets Even Lower

While sales of homes have dropped by almost 200,000, the numbers don’t end there. Real estate data revealed more shocking details about America’s real estate market.

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If you split the year into quarters, you’ll find that investors only bought 123,000 units in the fourth quarter. These numbers are “abysmal” and represent the lowest quarterly total in eight months.

The Worst Annual Drop In Buying Activity

A different firm also analyzed the failing real estate market from January to September. What did it find? Sales for these first nine months show that 2023 may have the largest annual drop in the last 20 years.

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But it’s worth mentioning that this drop in activity mirrors the country’s housing market. So, sales of real estate properties went down by 19%, hitting the lowest since 1995.

Mortgage Rates Went Up

Experts partially blame the drop in sales on the recent falling mortgage rates. Today, the requirements for a 30-year mortgage have fallen by over a percentage point. This change is a steep reverse since it peaked in the fall.

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This increased interest rate makes it very hard to get new buildings when also considering housing costs. But how soon will this return to normal? It’s tough to say.

Analysts Predict The Same For 2024

Most of these businesses said that they plan to buy the same amount of properties in 2024. This means the housing market will stay stagnant due to the wavering prices. Sadly, approximately 82% of businesses feel this way.

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But why? For now, there isn’t much motivation to buy more properties in 2024. It’s worse as the prices are higher, the inventory is tight, and the rent growth is low.

Big Investors Are Diversifying

Despite the declining purchases, the show must go on! Therefore, some businesses are diversifying into rentals. One of these establishments is Blackstone. They announced their plans to trade Tricon residential private. Blackstone bought its shares at about $3.5 billion.

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For context, Tricon is a real estate company with over 35,000 homes, most of which are in the Sunbelt. This company develops buildings meant for families, making it a promising investment.

Businesses Like Tricon May Save The Housing Market

As mentioned earlier, one major problem with the housing industry is the inventory. Essentially, very few homes are available, which jacks up the price. Fortunately, businesses like Tricon may fix this issue.

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Tricon has focused on building new homes or buying some from other developers. If they continue this trend, investors can expect more growth in the housing market.

Investors Bought Too Much Initially

Before the decline, investors bought more shares of homes compared to the amount in 2009. By the first quarter of 2022, these companies accounted for one in five home purchases.

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Sadly, regular buyers couldn’t compete with these establishments as they were outbid. However, issues like the pandemic, caused interest rates and rent growth to drop. How badly? It went from double digits to single numbers.

Even Hot Markets Experienced Steep Decline

Places like Atlanta, Phoenix, and Charlotte, N.C., were hot spots for investors. Businesses bought a lot of homes, resulting in one out of four homes belonging to an investor.

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Sadly, these cities were no different from others as they experienced a steep decline. So, investors’ portfolios that used to have around 10,800 homes in 2032 quickly went down to 2,400 units in 2023.

Investors Own Less Market Share Now

As the decline progressed in 2023, investors owned 11% of the home purchases. Note that this data doesn’t feature other property types like co-ops and condominiums.

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Nevertheless, this share has shrunk significantly in the past two years. Companies and families have slowed down on buying properties. However, small investors still pack a punch for their size.

Small Investors Account For The Majority Of Home Bought

Big businesses own the most properties in the state. However, small investors with less than ten units account for most homes bought. These minor real estate companies supplied bigger brand properties when landlords pulled back.

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But you can’t blame landlords because these homeowners took on floating-rate debt. Unfortunately, this led them to struggle with increasing interest rates despite the high rent growth in the past.

How Much Money Did Investors Lose?

Investors naturally lost money as tent rates dropped and home prices rose. One example was VineBrook Homes, a real estate investment trust with homes in the Midwest. They reported a huge loss of $214 million.

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This deficit wasn’t within two years but within the first nine months of 2023. However, they are optimistic about 2024’s performance. “We expect portfolio sales will return to a more normal course of business in 2024.”

Investors Are Hesitant But Strategic

The Housing market is currently a mess as sales drop exponentially from 2022 to 2024. This decline has caused investors to pull out their resources and wait until the market is favorable again.

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But, others are finding new ways to make money in this chaos. One example is investing in Tricon as their developers build new units to settle supply issues. However, they must also tackle loan interest rates and housing prices before returning.