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Report: Investors Flipping Fewer Homes

  

A research firm says the share of California homes purchased by "institutional investors" continues to shrink.

Institutional investors are defined as entities that buy at least 10 single family homes and condos in a year. Typically those properties are turned into rentals.

Data from the Irvine-based research company RealtyTrac show those purchases accounted for 0.7 percent of home sales between January and March. That was a 50 percent drop from the same period last year. And it was down more than 70 percent from the previous three months.

Analysts say one reason is that home prices continue to appreciate. Another reason is the inventory of lower end homes that institutional investors like to buy is drying up. In other words, there are fewer foreclosed homes to flip.

RealtyTrac says California foreclosures fell by 15 percent in the first-quarter of 2016 compared to a year ago.

In Sacramento County, institutional investors accounted for less than one percent of all property sales in the first-quarter. RealtyTrac says that was down 40 percent from a year ago, and it was a 75 percent drop from the previous three months.

All-cash buyers in the Sacramento area purchased single family homes and condos for a median $160 a square foot in the first quarter of this year. RealtyTrac says that was a discount of 10.5 percent below the median of $179 a square foot for all home purchases.

Nearly 24 percent of residential property sales in the first quarter were all-cash purchases, down slightly from the same period last year.