Cash sales drop to lowest level since May 2010

Continues 18-month streak of year-over-year decreases

The share of homes purchased in cash continued its decline in May, falling to 34.4% of total home sales, which represents the lowest share of cash sales since May 2010.

May’s cash sales were down from April, when 36.9% of the sales were all-cash, and down from May 2013, when cash sales made up 37.4% of the total home sales, according to a new report from Corelogic (CLGX).

“The share has fallen on a year-over-year basis each month since January 2013,” Corelogic said in the report. “Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25%. The peak occurred in January 2011, when cash transactions made up 46.2% of total home sales.”

Of the 34.4% of total sales that were made in cash, 55.5% were of real estate owned homes.

Re-sales made up 34%, short sales were 32.8% and newly constructed homes were 16.8%.

“While the percentage of REO sales that were cash transactions remained high, REO transactions made up only 8.2% of total sales in May and therefore did not have a large influence on the overall cash sales share,” Corelogic said. “In January 2011, when the cash sales share was at its peak, REO sales made up 24% of total sales.”

The state of Florida, which has long ranked at or near the top of the cash sales rankings, had the largest share of cash sales in May at 53.4% of total sales. New York ranked second at 50.3%, Alabama was third with 48.9%, West Virginia was fourth at 48.3% and South Dakota rounded out the top five with 46.3%.

Of the nation's largest 100 Core Based Statistical Areas measured by population, Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York had the highest share of cash sales at 66.4%, followed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida (64%), West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Florida (62.8%), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida (62.7%) and Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Michigan (61.1%).

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