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Investors Bought 26% of the Country’s Most Affordable Homes in the Fourth Quarter—the Highest Share on Record

Overall, investor home purchases dropped 11% from a year earlier, the smallest decline since they began falling in 2022

(NASDAQ: RDFN) — Real estate investors bought 26.1% of low-priced U.S. homes that sold in the fourth quarter, according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s the highest share on record and is up from 24% a year earlier. By comparison, investors purchased 13.6% of mid-priced homes that sold (vs 14.3% a year earlier) and 15.9% of high-priced homes that sold (vs 15.4% a year earlier).

Investors are drawn to affordable homes for the same reason as other homebuyers: They cost less, which is especially attractive when home prices and borrowing costs remain elevated. And when housing affordability is this strained, there could be more potential for value increases in the lower price tier, meaning more potential for building equity.

For its analysis, Redfin determined the three price tiers by dividing home purchases into three buckets: low-priced, mid-priced and high-priced. Low-priced homes are those that fall into the bottom tercile of local sale prices, while mid-priced are those in the middle tercile and high-priced are those in the top tercile.

Low-priced homes made up 46.5% of all investor purchases in the fourth quarter (vs 47.2% a year earlier), while mid-priced homes made up 24.6% (vs 26.4% a year earlier) and high-priced homes represented 28.8% (vs 26.5% a year earlier).

“I get tons of emails every day from investors looking for properties, but of course, they only want homes that are under market value, which are hard to come by. When they find those properties, they pile in,” said Carrie Caruthers, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Riverside County, CA. “I’ve recently seen an uptick in foreclosures, which investors are interested in because they often sell at a discount. I just sold one foreclosed house to an investor for $400,000. It probably would’ve sold for around $500,000 if it hadn’t been a foreclosure, but the investor got a deal because foreclosure purchases come with risks.”

Overall Investor Home Purchases Dropped 11% in the Fourth Quarter

Investor purchases of U.S. homes fell 10.5% year over year in the fourth quarter to 46,419—the lowest fourth-quarter level since 2016. Overall U.S. home purchases posted a slightly larger decline, falling 12.2% to 251,462—the lowest fourth-quarter level since 2012.

Investor home purchases have fallen in part because high interest rates, elevated home prices and a sluggish rental market have made investing less lucrative. Some investors have shifted their money into other investments that offer good returns and lower risk, such as Treasury bonds. But Redfin agents in both California and Florida said many investors are still hungry for homes.

“There are a lot of investors out there fighting for properties,” said Juan Castro, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Orlando, FL, which posted the third largest drop in investor purchases in the country last quarter. “There just aren’t enough properties to go around, which is putting a cap on how many homes investors can buy.”

The total supply of homes for sale in the U.S. fell 5.1% year over year in December and remained far below pre-pandemic levels as most homeowners stayed put to avoid losing the rock-bottom mortgage rate they scored during the pandemic.

The typical home purchased by investors in the fourth quarter cost $453,271, up slightly from $426,573 a year earlier, as U.S. home prices ticked up. Overall, investors bought $32.3 billion worth of U.S. homes, down just slightly from $33.6 billion a year earlier.

Investors Purchases Didn’t Fall Nearly as Fast as They Did Last Year

The 10.5% drop in investor home purchases in the fourth quarter marks the sixth straight year-over-year decline. But that pales in comparison to the 44.1% drop of a year earlier and represents the smallest decrease since investor purchases started falling in the third quarter of 2022.

The decline in investor purchases has eased as the shock of elevated mortgage rates has subsided and the U.S. economy has proven to be more resilient than many expected.

“It’s too early to say that investor purchases have hit a bottom, but they’re unlikely to shoot up like they did during the pandemic anytime soon,” said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “That’s because borrowing costs and home prices remain high, the number of homes available to buy remains low and rents remain lackluster. If the Fed cuts interest rates later this year as expected, we may see more investors wade into the housing market.”

Investors Bought Nearly 1 of Every 5 Homes That Sold in the Fourth Quarter

Investors bought 18.5% of U.S. homes that sold in the fourth quarter, up from 18.1% a year earlier. Their market share likely rose slightly because they didn’t retreat as quickly as individual buyers.

Single-Family Homes Represented Over Two-Thirds of Investor Purchases

Single-family homes represented 68.6% of investor purchases in the fourth quarter (vs 68.8% a year earlier). Condos/co-ops made up the second largest share (19.2% vs 17.9% a year earlier), followed by townhouses (7.1% vs 8% a year earlier) and multifamily properties (5.1% vs 5.3% a year earlier).

Metro-Level Highlights: Q4 2023 Investor Activity

Where investor purchases increased/decreased most from a year earlier:

  • Biggest increases: Riverside, CA (+25%), Chicago (+20.9%), San Jose, CA (+18%)
  • Biggest decreases: Cincinnati (-28.8%), Providence, RI (-27.7%), Orlando, FL (-26.5%)

Where investors bought the highest/lowest share of homes that sold:

  • Highest share: In Miami, investors bought 31.5% of homes that sold. Next came Jacksonville, FL (25.6%) and Anaheim, CA (25.5%).
  • Lowest share: Providence, RI (9.9%), Warren, MI (10.1%), Montgomery County, PA (10.2%).

Where the share of homes bought by investors increased/decreased most from a year earlier:

  • Biggest increases: In Sacramento, CA, investors bought 21.5% of homes that sold, up 4.6 percentage points from a year earlier. Next came San Diego (+4.6 ppts) and Riverside (+4.3 ppts).
  • Biggest decreases: Atlanta (-3 ppts), Orlando (-2.7 ppts), Miami (-2.5 ppts).

To view the full report, including charts and additional metro-level data, please visit:

About Redfin

Redfin ( is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We also run the country's #1 real estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with same day tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home in certain markets can have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Customers who buy and sell with Redfin pay a 1% listing fee, subject to minimums, less than half of what brokerages commonly charge. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1.5 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 4,000 people.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email To view Redfin's press center, click here.


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