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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

First-time homebuyers shrink as prices spike

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home sales cooled as prices continued to heat up in August.

Driving the news: The share of first-time existing homebuyers (29%) last month was the smallest in two years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 mins ago - Economy & Business

All about the boards

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's been a bad week for the idea that boards of directors are bulwarks against C-suite malfeasance. On the other hand, it's been a good week for rubber stamp manufacturers.

Driving the news: The board of media startup Ozy Media chose not to investigate a blatant fraud perpetrated by one of its top executives against Goldman Sachs, which was in talks to invest in Ozy.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senators grill top Pentagon leaders over Biden's Afghanistan exit

Photo: Carolone Brehman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, and the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, are testifying before Congress for the first time since the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The latest: Austin said in his opening statement that military leaders began planning for a non-combatant evacuation of Kabul as early as the spring, and that this is the only reason U.S. troops were able to start the operation so quickly when the Taliban captured the city. "Was it perfect? Of course not," Austin acknowledged.