Investors armed with cash have largely driven the recovery of the U.S. housing market to date, but a few signs suggest that trend may be easing up. For the past five months, applications for new mortgages have risen suggesting that regular buyers may be starting to play a bigger role in the housing recovery.
A shift would be significant. The worry has been that once home prices rise to a point where it’s not as worthwhile for investors to buy, prices could eventually drop off. But if individual buyers dominate home sales, we might see a more sustainable recovery under way.