In May of 2015, all-cash sales comprised 24.6% of all single family and condo sales, down from 28.5% in April and 30.4% in May 2014. The May 2015 total is the lowest since November 2009. The share of all-cash sales as a percentage of all sales is near its long-run average of 24.8% since January 2000 and sharply lower than its peak of 42.2% of all sales in February 2011.
The share of institutional investors dropped to 2.4% in May, a record low. Institutional investors are entities that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year.
The data were reported on Thursday by RealtyTrac. The real estate data tracking firm cited the chief operating officer at Chase International brokerage in the Lake Tahoe-Reno market:
For the potential first time homebuyer or move up buyer this is a good time to move ahead. Interest rates remain historically low, and the outlook for price appreciation is great. The competition in the marketplace is also different. While inventory is tight many investors have dropped out of the market and cash deals are not as prevalent as they were. Even in multi-offer situations much has been equalized. This is great news for first time buyers.
Sales of distressed properties also dropped but continue to weigh on prices, selling for a median price 43% below the sale price of non-distressed properties. Sales volume also has risen as all-cash buyers sit on the sidelines. A RealtyTrac executive said:
And while sellers this spring are realizing the biggest average home value gains since 2006, home price appreciation is softening as the supply-and-demand balances tip more in favor of buyers and as banks began to clear out some of their more highly distressed foreclosures that sell at scratch-and-dent prices.
The May median sales price for non-distressed properties was $205,000, while the median price for distressed properties was just under $117,000.
The metropolitan areas with at least 200,000 people that had the highest share of distressed sales were Flint, Mich., (26.0%); Tallahassee, Fla., (24.2%); Memphis, Tenn., (24.1%); Pensacola, Fla., (23.0%); and Ocala, Fla., (21.7%).
Metropolitan areas with the highest percentages of bank-owned (REO) sales were Flint (16.0%), Mobile, Ala., (13.1%); Tallahassee (12.6%); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla., (11.9%); and Fayetteville, N.C., (11.9%).
Metro markets with the highest share of in-foreclosure sales were Chicago (14.8%); Rockford, Ill., (14.6%); Toledo, Ohio (13.4%); New Haven, Conn., (12.7%); and Memphis (12.7%).
All-cash sales were highest in five Florida metropolitan areas: Naples-Marcos Island (56%), Sarasota-Bradenton (54%), Miami (53.4%), Ocala (49.9%) and Cape Coral-Fort Myers (49.7%). Institutional investors posted the highest shares in Rockford (13.4%); Tulsa, Okla., (12.6%); Roanoke, Va., (12.6%); Memphis (10.2%); and San Antonio, Texas (8.4%).