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Investors Rush In For Bargains In Sunbelt Housing Markets

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Michael A. Fletcher, National Economics Correspondent, Washington Post
 
BY IAN MYLCHREEST -- Investors paying cash are buying up big in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, reports The Washington Post economics correspondent, Michael A. Fletcher. The big Wall Street investors may be crowding out other buyers because they are offering cash.

More than that, the big investors are able to search out the best buys and make offers much faster than the usual process of consulting a Realtor. In a day’s work, these buyers bid on hundreds of homes and account for as much as 70 percent of sales.

Ordinarily, housing markets would not recover until employment and incomes started to rise but with so much cash coming in, prices are rising at double-digit rates. That helps underwater homeowners but it could also mean another dip when investors pull back. In some markets we may even be seeing, says Fletcher, another housing bubble.

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