By Mike Sunnucks
Real estate investors are buying new and existing homes in the Phoenix market to then rent out the properties.
“Overall our belief is that 2 to 3 percent of homes are being sold to investors and the activity is increasing,” said regional real estate expert Jim Belfiore.
That is a concern for housing market, he said.
“It’s confounding. It’s something that jeopardizes the rally in a sense because it evokes strong feelings among who lived thru the mid-2000s and the fallout of the Housing Bubble,” said Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.
Belfiore is referring to the wave of investors who bought homes in metropolitan Phoenix before the last real estate crash and recession. Many of those investors were home flippers.
“It harkens back to that period of time none of us really want to think about,” said Belfiore of the Great Recession and real estate crash that hit Phoenix and Arizona very hard.
Investors are buying new and existing homes with the intention of renting them out and Belfiore is seeing the investor activity in west Phoenix, south Phoenix and the East Valley.
“We noticed it first in the East Valley,” Belfiore said.
He said tracking investor sales can be difficult if those buyers are individuals or investment groups shielding their transactions.
He does wonder why new home builders are selling to investors with the regional housing market performing well in Maricopa and Pinal counties.
“Demand is healthy without investor activity,” said Belfiore who is trying to figure out why home builders are selling to investors for rentals.
“They either need a faster sales volume or they are being paid more for the homes,” he said.