The housing market is identifying two specific types of buyers currently competing for homes: first time homebuyers taking advantage of FHA financing and absentee buyers looking for investments.

"All-cash purchases and absentee buyers are at nearly twice their historic 12 year averages," said Chris Pollinger, Senior Vice President of Sales for First Team Real Estate. "At the same time FHA loans have dropped for another month even though they are still high, which shows that these two different groups are increasingly competing for single family homes in the price range of $225,000 to $400,000."

Nearly one out of every 3 buyers was an investor, typically paying cash for houses with a median price of $245,000, according to DataQuick.

Simultaneously, 25.5% of mortgage originations with FHA financing were to first time homebuyers, down for the second time in two months.

With such a competitive market, the two groups of homebuyers are going to the Web to search for the properties that fit them best. In fact, Orange County real estate websites yields up to 82.5 million results a study from the WAV Group revealed recently.

So what is the benefit of searching for homes online?

Local brokerage sites show 100% of the agent-listed homes available compared to a national portal site, which only lists 80%. Additionally, local brokerage sites display newly listed homes on average 8 days earlier than national portals. Also, local brokerage sites rarely show a home that is already sold, while nearly 36% of the listings on national portals are no longer on the market.

mhopkins@housingwire.com