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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

New data from Realtor.com, out this morning, shows that investor-driven purchases accounted for 5.7% of homes sold in April and are reducing inventory in 31 of the top 50 U.S. markets.

Why it matters: Individual homeowners have been struggling to buy homes over the past year amid short supply and rising prices.

What they found: Analysts at Realtor.com looked at deed records for single-family homes, condos, townhouses and rowhomes from January 2000 to April 2021 nationally and across the 50 biggest metro areas.

  • They defined investors as any absentee owner who had an LLC, LP, LLP, GP or Trust in its name. 
  • The investor figure may be undercounted because the data doesn't capture small investors who don't register under a company name.

Areas with the most investor activity were the Phoenix/Scottsdale region in Arizona and the greater Atlanta area in Georgia.

  • Inventory levels declined 54% year-over-year as of April across the top 50 metro areas, to a median of 2.6 homes per 1,000 households.

What they’re saying: Investors have deeper pockets and more flexibility than typical homebuyers, making them more “daunting competition,” Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale said in a statement. What to watch: The next round of housing data. Demand continues to outpace supply, but inventory has started to improve and sales of new single-family homes have fallen.

Go deeper

Austin home sales calm

A house for sale in South Austin. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

Some good news for prospective homebuyers: September home sales slid nearly 5% compared to the same month last year, per new data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Why it matters: Have you tried buying a home lately? Bidding wars this past year have meant homes go for hundreds of thousands of dollars over listing prices as frenzied hopeful owners try to secure their piece of the American Dream.

  • Austin homebuying has reached grim comedy: To the ESPN prompt, "Name something that isn't an Olympic sport, but feels like an Olympic sport," the Austin Twitter account Evil MoPac answered: "Buying a house in Austin."

Mayors feel powerless to reduce homelessness

Expand chart
Recreated from 2021 Menino Survey of Mayors; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

America's mayors know their constituents hold them accountable for homelessness, but many don't feel they have the tools or power to fix things, a brand new survey says.

Why it matters: While homelessness has become more acute during the pandemic, city leaders say they lack the money, staff or political support needed to make a meaningful difference.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.