Fear of getting laid off has home shoppers wary of committing to a mortgage, and those who do want to buy a home continue to find it hard to get financing, a survey found.
Those attitudes made investors more active in the purchase market. They used cash to snap up low-priced homes, even in markets with scarce inventory, wrote Daniel Oppenheim, the lead analyst for the Credit Suisse survey of real estate agents.
"We saw the traditional owner-occupant buyers step back, as they have become even more concerned about the economy, and are hesitant to make a purchase given their concerns about employment," Oppenheim wrote.
"We think the lack of confidence in employment is a key issue, especially when coupled with the worry that a home bought today might sell for less in three-six months," he said.
Credit Suisse said markets with significant foreclosure volumes, like Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix, had strong investor traffic.
But the markets with lower real estate owned inventory, such as the Texas markets of Austin, Dallas and Houston, had weak activity, as did the Charlotte, Chicago, New York and Washington markets.