The number of real estate investor loans outstanding has risen sharply over the past few years.
It rose by 7.5 percent in March to a record of $1.8 trillion, the most since August 2017, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The average borrower in the nation owes $13,936, according the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In May, the number of loans outstanding reached its highest level since October 2011.
The amount outstanding has been on the rise for a long time.
It reached a peak in 2008 at $9,836 per household.
In January 2009, the Federal Housing Finance Agency projected that the rate would be closer to 4.6 percent in 2022.
In March 2017, the rate was 3.6.
The increase in the loan amount is largely due to increased demand for homes.
Demand has been driven by rising incomes, as well as by a slowing economy, which has made home purchases more affordable.
In the latest year for which the data are available, there were more than 2.5 million home purchases, the highest since January 2020, according ToR Real Estate.
Real estate investment firms have responded to these trends.
They have expanded into more markets and have taken a more active role in helping buyers obtain homes.
Some have started to invest in distressed properties, which are areas where home prices have plummeted, said Chris DeAngelis, the president of RE/MAX Real Estate, a real estate services company.
Other investors have bought properties in other states and developed relationships with state and local governments, said Richard Kretzschmar, a senior portfolio manager with Re/MAX.
Re/Max has sold more than 3.8 million properties since its launch in 2003.
A typical real estate loan includes a down payment of 25 percent, the closing costs of 20 percent and a mortgage rate of 3.5 to 5.5%.
Interest rates vary widely, ranging from 2 to 4 percent, depending on the type of mortgage.
The cost of the loan can also be based on the size of the home.
In many cases, a home is worth far less than its appraised value, according