I do not think investors have gone away. I think they are taking a breather. Traditionally  investors look for low priced property that they can rent or flip. With a new and large group of foreclosures forecasted to hit the market they will be back when that inventory is available,

“ Richard Barkett, chief executive of Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors, said he isn't worried about fewer investors. They've been squeezing out traditional buyers, who now will have more of an "opportunity to be active in the marketplace," he said.”

 

First time home buyers and investors often compete for the same property and it is very difficult for a first time home buyer to compete with investor cash offers. Perhaps this will take a little of the strain off first time home buyers.

 

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=3&id=313685