Phoenix’s affordable housing market is a draw for investors, a buyer group who made up a sizable portion of property purchases in 2022’s second business quarter.

In Q2-2022, investors who purchased a property in Phoenix accounted for 31.2% of the share of homes bought in the metro, according to a new analysis of investor home purchases in the 40 most populous U.S. metros by Redfin. The market share of Phoenix investors ranked in fourth place compared to the other 40 metros and was higher than Miami, Tampa, and Los Angeles, where the percentage of homes purchased by investors ranged from 29% to 20% in Q2-2022.

Investors in Jacksonville occupied the highest market share nationwide, accounting for 31.9% of the homes bought in Q2-2022, up 40.7% compared to Q2-2021. However, the percentage of homes purchased by Phoenix investors didn’t change much from 2021, growing just 2.3% year-over-year.

Phoenix investors bought more than $4.6 billion ($4,643,014,134) in real estate during Q2-2022, the second-highest amount compared to the other U.S. metros Redfin analyzed. Los Angeles reported the highest total value of homes bought by investors, amassing $7.1 billion ($7,121,490,317) in purchases with a median sale price of $1.1 million in Q2-2022.

Phoenix investors typically bought properties with a median sale price of $450,000, a comparable price point to investors in Miami, Washington, and West Palm Beach but much lower compared to cities such as New York, Seattle, and San Jose.

“There’s still a large investor presence in Phoenix, particularly in the more affordable price range. That’s largely because rental rates are surging, and so is demand as some people are priced out of homebuying,” said Phoenix-based agent Van Welborn in the Redfin report.

“The overall market slowed down in early June when mortgage rates shot up, but a lot of investors pay in all cash, and they find Phoenix relatively affordable. I’m working with three active investors right now, all from the Bay Area. And one recent local client just purchased a triplex to renovate and rent out,” he said.

Changing markets motivate some investors and scare others away

Overall, real estate investors purchased 87,500 U.S. homes in Q2-2022, an 11% increase quarter-over-quarter and a 5.9% year-over-year jump. This figure marks a drop from the record high of 93,700 properties in Q3-2021. Redfin explains that investors are still buying more homes than before the pandemic. Investors bought 19.4% of homes in Q2-2022, down slightly from a record 20.1% in Q1-2022 and the first recorded drop after two years.

Although investor purchases have plateaued, they haven’t fallen like home purchases in the broader market, Redfin explained. Instead, this stall signals that the market cooldown motivates some investors, while others shy away from economic uncertainty.

“The cooldown in the overall housing market motivates some investors and scares others off,” said Sheharyar Bokhari, a Redfin senior economist, in the report.

“Investors are contending with sky-high home prices, just like other buyers. Those who plan to turn homes into rentals are still in the market because high rental payments help offset the cost of the home, and the home will likely grow in value over time. Others are motivated by discounts from home builders looking to sell off extra inventory as individual buyers pull back,” he added.

Investors attracted to low-priced properties, single-family homes

Investors picked up approximately 35,000 low-priced homes in Q2-2022, a 6% drop quarter-over-quarter and a 7.6% decrease year-over-year. However, Redfin stated that investors are still buying more low-priced homes than pre-pandemic when they bought 30,000 low-priced properties per quarter in 2019. Real estate investors bought 25% of low-priced homes that sold in Q2-2022, comparable with the 25.1% record set in Q1-2022 and up from 21.6% a year earlier.

In the higher price ranges, U.S. investors bought up 28,000 mid-priced homes and 25,000 high-priced properties in Q2-2022, up 25.3% and 8.9% compared to a year ago.

Regarding property types, investors showed a preference for non-condo homes. In Q2-2022, investors purchased about 65,000 single-family homes and 5,300 townhouses in the last quarter, up 8.5% and 10.9% annually. Conversely, approximately 14,000 condos were bought by investors during the same quarter, down 4.3% from a year ago.

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