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Investors Shouldering Recovery as Consumer Confidence Wavers

Home prices and home sales are rising, despite ""lackluster demand of traditional owner-occupied housing,"" according to Tim Rood of ""The Collingwood Group"":http://www.collingwoodllc.com/.

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Rood points out that median home prices and the number of home sales are both nearly 10 percent above what they were one year ago.

This rise is not spurred by owner-occupants, the traditional ""backbone of the U.S. housing market,"" according to Rood.

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Purchases by owner-occupants declined 15.5 percent in 2011, while investment and vacation home sales increased by 7.0 percent.

First-time buyers made up 31 percent of purchases in August.

Eighteen percent of homes purchased in August went to investors rather than owner-occupants. Cash purchases accounted for 27 percent of home sales in the same month.

Rood suggests the primary hindrance to owner-occupant purchases is low consumer confidence.

High unemployment, declining household net worth, decreasing wages, and political uncertainty are all current contributors to low consumer confidence, according to Rood.

""And to put it simply â€" anxious people don't buy houses; confident people buy houses,"" he says.

While the market may experience a few signs of meager recovery, a long-term, sustainable recovery requires a return of consumer confidence. ""Given the current state of the economy and American politics, this restoration will take time,"" Rood said.

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