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First Time Homebuyers Face Stiff Competition From Investors

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In this hot market the homes moving fastest have two types of increasingly web savvy buyers: First time homebuyers who take advantage of FHA financing and absentee buyers looking for investments.

"All-cash purchases and absentee buyers are at nearly twice their historic 12 year averages," said Chris Pollinger, Senior Vice President of Sales for First Team Real Estate. "At the same time FHA loans have dropped for another month even though they are still high, which shows that these two different groups are increasingly competing for single family homes in the price range of $225,000 to $400,000."

According to figures released by DataQuick, nearly 1 of every 3 property purchases were to investors, many who paid all cash for houses with a median price of $245,000.  At the same time, first time homebuyers made up 25.5% of mortgage originations with FHA backed loans, down for the second time in as many months.

As these two groups compete for the mid-range of properties, they are increasingly using the web to find the properties that suit them best.  A recent national study from the WAV Group showed that the most up-to-date information came from web sites like FirstTeam.com.  While Googling, ' Orange County real estate websites' yields up to 82.5 million results, FirstTeam.com has been named time and again the most trusted by Southern California homebuyers.  

Analysis of thousands of home listings and hundreds of other criteria yielded three key reasons why first time homebuyers and investors are using the web to get a leg up in the battle for homes:

  • Local brokerage sites display 100% of the agent-listed homes for sale compared to about 80% for the national portal sites.
  • Local brokerage sites show newly listed homes for sale 7 to 9 days earlier than national portals.   FirstTeam.com is updated four times daily.
  • Local brokerage sites almost never show a home listing as active that has already sold; about 36% of listings that appear as active on national portals are no longer for sale.

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