A growing number of investors seem less deterred by high prices, jumping on opportunities from demand for rentals.
A picture of a home's backyard pool, with the view of trees and distant, low hills toward the horizon.

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Single-family purchases made by investors are surging as they see opportunities in the rapid growth of home prices and demand for rentals. The Golden State, shunned by investors for some years, is seeing a strong return.

“After a decade of moving away, investors are coming back to California,” writes Thomas Malone, an economist at CoreLogic, in a recent analysis. Of the 11 metro areas with the highest investor shares for the third quarter, four were in California, four are in the South, and three are in the Mountain-West regions. “These are the markets where iBuyers have focused,” Malone adds. “California was prevalent in the top investor shares at the start of the 2010s when there were many foreclosures in the wake of the Great Recession. More recently, the South and the Mountain-West have had the highest investor rates. The California rise is likely due to large investors, who seem less deterred by the high prices found in the area.”

Large investors—those who retain 100 or more properties—have greatly increased their market share, CoreLogic reports. Of all investor purchases made in June 2021, a quarter were made by large investors, a 12% yearly percentage increase.

Overall, the highest investor share of activity in the third quarter, according to CoreLogic are:

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.: 42.8%
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.: 42.6%
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.: 38.8%
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.: 38.4%
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 36.6%
  • Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.: 35.2%
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.: 34.6%
  • El Paso, Texas: 34.3%
  • Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.: 33.9%
  • Salt Lake City: 33.9%
  • Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, Calif.: 33.6%
A line graph showing investor shares by price tier, from January 2019 to September 2021