Large investors have been snapping up homes across the country in recent years, taking advantage of depressed prices and low interest rates.

In Baltimore city, institutional investors accounted for almost 8 percent of residential sales ifrom 2011 through 2013, higher than the national share, according to a new analysis by RealtyTrac.

But sales of Baltimore homes to these investors - defined by the real estate information firm as buyers with at least 10 purchases in a calendar year - have slid over those years.

The total number of purchases by institutional investors dropped from 802 in 2011 to 603 in 2013, according to RealtyTrac. Their share of the market dropped from 9.3 percent of residential sales in 2011 to 6 percent in 2013.

Nationwide, institutional investors represented about 6 percent of all residential sales from 2011 through 2013 in 1,264 counties examined by RealtyTrac. 

Unlike Baltimore, the institutional share of the market grew during that period, from about 5 percent in 2011 to 7.4 percent in 2013.

RealtyTrac said their data “strongly indicates” that institutional investors have caused home prices to rise in markets where they have a significant presence. They appear to have less of an impact on rents.

In Baltimore’s surrounding counties, institutional investors had a less significant presence in the 2011-2013 period, accounting for 3.4 percent of sales in Anne Arundel County,  2.85 percent in Baltimore County, less than 1 percent in Carroll County, 4.89 percent in Harford County, and 2.84 percent in Howard County.