Ordinary Americans Priced Out Of Housing: Institutional Purchases Hit Record, Half Of All Deals Are "All-Cash"

Tyler Durden's picture

If there was any doubt that the US housing "recovery" is anything but the latest speculative play by deep-pocketed (namely those who already have access to cheap funding) investors, who are now engaged in rotating cash gains out of capital markets and into real estate, on their way hoping to flip newly-acquired properties to other wealthy investors, then the most recent, September, RealtyTrac report will put that to rest. To wit: Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 14 percent of all sales in September, up from 9 percent in August and also 9 percent in September 2012. September had the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases of any month since RealtyTrac began tracking in January 2011....All-cash purchases nationwide represented 49 percent of all residential sales in September, up from a revised 40 percent in August and up from 30 percent in September 2012. In other words, institutional purchases are now at all time highs, with all-cash accounting for half of all transactions!

From RealtyTrac:

The housing market continues to skew in favor of investors, particularly deep-pocketed institutional investors, and other buyers paying with cash,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While the institutional investors are pulling back their purchases in many of the higher-priced markets — places like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Seattle and Sacramento — they are continuing to ramp up purchases in markets where median prices are still below $200,000 — places like Jacksonville, Atlanta, Charlotte, St. Louis and Dallas. The availability of distressed inventory also makes a difference. For example, institutional investor purchases have rebounded in Las Vegas corresponding to a recent rebound in foreclosure activity there.

So after gobbling up all the real estate in the marquee markets, the Private Equity and other loaded with cash institutions have now swooped on the B and C-grade markets, where they have essentially priced out all ordinary remaining buyers, making sure the mortgage origination pathway remains slammed shut, and assured a lifetime of rental existence for the vast majority.

Here are the other distrubing findings from the RealtyTrac report:

  • Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 14 percent of all sales in September, up from 9 percent in August and also 9 percent in September 2012. September had the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases of any month since RealtyTrac began tracking in January 2011.
  • Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases in September were Atlanta (29 percent), Las Vegas (27 percent), St. Louis (25 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (23 percent), Charlotte, N.C., (17 percent), Memphis, Tenn. (16 percent), Richmond, Va., (15 percent), Dallas (15 percent), and San Antonio, Texas (15 percent).
  • All-cash purchases nationwide represented 49 percent of all residential sales in September, up from a revised 40 percent in August and up from 30 percent in September 2012.
  • Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of all-cash sales were Miami (69 percent), Tampa, Fla. (62 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (62 percent), Las Vegas (62 percent), Orlando, Fla., (59 percent), Atlanta (54 percent), Cleveland (51 percent), and Memphis, Tenn. (51 percent).
  • Short sales accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. residential sales in September, up from 14 percent in August and 9 percent in September 2012. States with the biggest percentage of short sales were Nevada (32 percent), Florida (30 percent), Ohio (26 percent), Maryland (22 percent), and Tennessee (21 percent).
  • Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of short sales were Las Vegas (34 percent), Columbus, Ohio (33 percent), Tampa, Fla. (33 percent), Memphis, Tenn., (32 percent), and Miami (32 percent).
  • Sales of bank-owned homes accounted for 10 percent of all U.S. residential sales in September, up from 9 percent in August and also 9 percent in September 2012. Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of bank-owned sales were Las Vegas (21 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., (20 percent), Cleveland (19 percent), Phoenix (18 percent), and Columbus, Ohio (16 percent).
  • Annualized sales volume increased from the previous month in 34 out of the 38 states tracked in the report and was up from a year ago in 35 states. Notable exceptions where annualized sales volume decreased from a year ago were California (down 15 percent), Arizona (down 11 percent), and Nevada (down 5 percent).
  • States with the biggest annual increases in median prices were California (up 30 percent), Michigan (up 25 percent), Nevada (up 23 percent), Georgia (up 20 percent), and Arizona (up 20 percent).
  • Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the biggest annual increases in median prices were San Francisco (35 percent), Detroit (34 percent), Sacramento (33 percent), Atlanta (27 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., (26 percent), and Phoenix (25 percent).
  • Home price appreciation showed signs of plateauing in these top six appreciating markets. In all six markets, the annual increase in home prices was down compared to previous months this year.

Why is the above a concern? Because prices are now rolling over. And if there is one thing institutions know (and hate) - it is being the last one holding inventory. In other words, once the selling, pardon dumping, avalanche begins, watch out below.

After having made housing ridiculous expensive for anyone but other institutions, these same PE firms, hedge funds and REITs are now scrambling for the worst of the worst distressed properties anywhere they can be found:

And perhaps the one chart that puts it all into perspective: