Florida leads US in investor-purchased homes over four years: report

Institutional investor trends over the last four years, RealtyTrac
Institutional investor trends over the last four years, RealtyTrac

Florida led the country in the number of homes purchased by institutional investors over the past four years — 78,155 — according to a RealtyTrac report released today. 

California, Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina followed Florida. Nationwide, 528,369 homes were sold to institutional investors in that period.

Despite that, sales to institutional investors were down 31 percent from the 153,450 purchases in 2013 to a four-year low, RealtyTrac reported.

“While the overall percentage of purchases by institutional investors is nothing to write home about nationwide, the true impact of these investors can be seen more clearly at the hyperlocal level,” RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said in the press release. “There were 35 zip codes nationwide where at least 50 single family homes were purchased by institutional investors in the fourth quarter, with institutional investor purchases representing from 17 percent to 74 percent of all single family home sales in those zip codes.”

Florida represents an attractive market for investors.

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“With our limited land and growing population the institutional investors believe our region will outperform the U.S. market,” president and CEO of the Keyes Company Mike Pappas said in a statement.

Institutional investors accounted for 21 percent of all single family purchases in one Hollywood zip code, 33023, in the fourth quarter.

As we reported last week, cash sales are up in South Florida. Miami had the highest share of all-cash sales in metro areas in the fourth quarter of 2014 with 58.1 percent, followed by Sarasota, Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Tampa and Memphis, the only area to see an increase compared to 2013, according to RealtyTrac.

“World money has been pouring into the Miami real estate market,” Pappas said in the press release. “The strong cash purchases are a validation of the Miami region as the undisputed capital of Central and South America. Many wealthy overseas individuals purchase properties as a safe haven. The strong dollar enhances their investment against declining valuation of their local currency.”