New Home Sales Climb as Investors Pay Cash

By Catherine Reagor | Arizona Republic

New homes in metro Phoenix are selling at the briskest pace since the 2006 housing boom, but some of the buyers may not be as welcome in your neighborhood.

Investors are back in the Valley’s new-home market.

During the last boom, speculating investors snapped up a record number of new Phoenix-area homes as prices shot up, then dumped them fast when prices started falling.

Those investors played a big role in the housing market crash of 2008 to 2011. And leads us to watch what they’re doing in today’s hot market.

An eye on investors in metro Phoenix

Investors in the new-home market are now adding to the demand and potentially beating out first-time buyers by paying cash, just as they have been in the resale market for the past few years.

The Valley’s new home sales climbed 34% during October, compared to October last year, according to Belfiore Consulting.

“New housing supply remains tight, while demand is as high as any period since 2006,” Arizona housing analyst Jim Belfiore said. “We anticipate rapidly rising home prices for the next 12 to 18 months.”

He’s watching for for the impact investors could have on that new-home market.

A telltale sign: new homes for rent

On a recent visit to new subdivisions in the southeast Valley, Belfiore saw “for rent” signs on brand new homes.

A map of one subdivision showed a row of a dozen lots that didn’t have sold signs on them, but the sales agent told him “they had already been spoken for.”

That sales agent for the homebuilder acknowledged some of the subdivision’s homes had been sold to investors.

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