Special Report

Cities Where Investors Are Buying Up the Most Real Estate

When local and first-time homebuyers hesitate, real estate investors rush in. And apparently, those investors are cashing in. Attom, a curator of land and property data, estimated in a first-quarter report that the typical return on investment was 47.2%, higher than the 37.5% return in the first quarter of 2021, and nearly 20 percentage points above the 29.4% return in the first quarter of 2019.

Still, profit margins are tightening, down from 51.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Similarly, gross profits on home sales in the first quarter hit $103,000, down from $107,187 in the fourth quarter. Still, first quarter profit exceeded the profit of $75,001 recorded a year earlier. Attom attributed the decline in profit margin partly to a normally slow winter buying season. Yet it noted the dip was the first quarterly drop since the fourth quarter of 2019.

At the same time, the national median home price inched up a mere 1.7%, from $315,000 in the first quarter of 2021 to $320,500 in the first quarter of this year, Attom reports, continuing to attract investors, especially in some cities. (Here are metros where home prices shot up this year.)

To determine the 25 cities where investors are buying up the most real estate, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from real estate brokerage Redfin’s report Real Estate Investors Are Buying a Record Share of U.S. Homes. Metropolitan areas were ranked based on the percentage of homes that were bought by real estate investors as a percentage of all homes bought in the fourth quarter of 2021. All other data came from Redfin.

Investors have set their sights on these 25 cities above all others. And high prices are no hurdle. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, the median sale price sails past $1 million. These urban areas will likely continue to have relevance to the local, and in some cases national, economy.

Of the 25 metropolitan areas, Atlanta ranks No. 1. Nearly 33% of home purchases were by investors, and another 40% were made in all-cash deals. Hard to argue with Atlanta’s attractiveness, as a growing population keeps up demand for housing, notes Roofsock. Specifically, the Atlanta suburbs are seeing a surge in residents. 

Though Atlanta tops the list, California has the most metros with the largest share of investor buyers, with six cities. Florida is close behind with five metro areas on the list, and Ohio is next with three. And despite the reported exodus from New York, it ranks 24th, with 13.5% of homes in the Big Apple purchased by investors. (These are the most popular cities for homebuyers.)

Click here to see the cities where investors are buying up the most real estate

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