Investor Homebuying Report 2011-2020

The Difference of a Decade: Falling Activity Amid Shifting Market

In 2011, the United States had recently reemerged from the 2006 housing market crash. Foreclosed homes were appearing on the market in spades, and many investors looking to snap up properties at a discount were buying.

What began as a spree of purchases to capitalize on low-cost, high-growth properties in 2011 peaked in 2018. But since then, the pace of investment has slowed. By the time 2020 rolled around, the investment rate, or the volume of all home purchases made by investors in the U.S. housing market was 15.5%. This marked a decline from 2019’s investment rate of 16.3% — and from the 16.8% peak in 2018.

By 2020, this decrease in investor purchase activity was disproportionately exhibited in bigger buyers, with small mom and pop investors making up a more significant share of investors than at any point in the past.

That said, while the investor share of purchases slowed, the number of investor purchases was steady. Over the decade, investors purchased about 1.1 million homes each year, but the share this made up of total home purchases varied.

Much has changed in the last decade. In the CoreLogic Investor Homebuying Report, we use a new investment indicator to look at investor buying activity from several different perspectives.[1]

  • Investor Activity Nationally and by Price Tier
    This analysis includes an in-depth look at investor activity across the nation. It also cross-references price tiers to understand where the bulk of activity occurs: low-priced homes, mid-priced homes or high-priced homes.
  • Analysis of Investor Size
    Large corporations aren’t the only ones in the investment property business. This report unpacks the differences in investment activity between small-sized investors, mid-sized investors and large-sized investors.
  • Top and Bottom 10 Metro Areas for Investor Homebuying
    Over the past decade, the most popular metro areas for investor homebuying have radically shifted. In 2011, California dominated the top 10 list—but by the end, not a single California metro area made the list.

Get the latest intelligence about investor activity—and learn what the past decade can teach us about investor activity for the decade still to come.

© 2021 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

[1] This report includes those purchases but in addition, can identify more investor purchases by seeing how many properties a person with the same name and address retains at any one time. This report defines an investor as an entity (individual or corporate) who retained three or more properties simultaneously within the past 10 years.  This report enhances the definition of an investor purchase that was introduced in a 2019 CoreLogic report. The previous report identified an investor purchase by looking for a corporate or non-individual identifier on the deed. Examples include LLCs, CORPs, and INCs, to name a few.

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