According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey, the share of investor and vacation home buyers has been steady over the past two years, with investors comprising 15% of existing home buyers in February, 2018. The NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog says investors are still active, despite rising housing costs, because of a tight rental market that corresponds with a continued downtrend in rental vacancy rates.
“As of 2017 Q1, the U.S. rental vacancy rate was 6.9 percent, which is below the eight percent rate that is considered normal —the rate during 1996–2000, the period before the housing market boomed then collapsed. With rental vacancy rates at below normal level, rents continue to increase at a pace higher than the overall inflation rate. In February 2018, rents rose the 3.6 percent compared to the 2.2 percent change in consumer prices.”