When housing crashed in a large way, big investors stepped in, both mopping up the mess and squeezing out big profit.
Now, with home prices rising and fewer distressed homes to buy, the housing trade is changing, and so are the players. The number of sales to investors increased in October from September, according to the National Association of Realtors, but the mix is different.
"We've seen buying activity slowing down among the largest institutional investors, and some of this activity (is being) replaced by mid-sized companies and individuals looking to buy and rent out single family homes," said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Auction.com. "The asset class seems likely to continue to grow, but the share of inventory purchased by the largest funds appears to be shrinking."