As the housing market recovers from the worst bust since the Great Depression, neophyte investors are following the lead of private-equity firms by investing in properties they can pick up cheaply, rent and sell when values rise enough, Bloomberg reported.
"The typical small-size mom-and-pop investor has two or three properties, looking at it as an income supplement with the possibility of being able to sell at some point when prices rise enough for them," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.
Investors are becoming more comfortable with real estate after a six-year housing slump, which brought prices down nationwide by 35 percent, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Many remain skeptical of stocks, even though the Standard & Poor's 500 index has more than doubled since falling to a 12-year low in March 2009. Read more.