July Cash Home Sales Remain Below 30% for Second Consecutive Month

Paul Ausick

In July of 2016, cash sales comprised 29.7% of all home sales, down from 31.6% in July of 2015, marking the 43rd consecutive year-over-year monthly decline. Cash sales rose by 0.4 percentage points month over month.

Cash home sales reached a peak in January of 2011 when 46.6% of all home sales in the United States were sold for cash. That peak was nearly double the pre-housing crisis average of around 25%. If cash sales continue to fall at the December rate, the 25% rate should be achieved by mid-2018. July 2016 marked the second month since late 2007 that cash sales have fallen below 30% of all home sales.

July data was reported Wednesday by CoreLogic. For all of 2015, 33.9% of all home sales were cash transactions, the lowest total since 2008.

The five states where cash sales were highest in July were New York (44.6%), Alabama (43.6%), Florida (39.6%), New Jersey (37.3%) and Indiana (37%). Sales include new construction, resales, real-estate owned (REO), and short sales.

Cash sales for REO properties accounted for 57.6% of all cash sales, while cash sales for resales and short sales accounted for about 29.4% and 28.1%, respectively. All-cash sales of new homes came in at 15% of all new home sales in July.

As a percentage of all sales, REOs accounted for 4.3% of total July real-estate sales. In January 2011, REO sales accounted for nearly 24% of all sales.

The five states posting the largest share of distressed sales in July were:

  • Maryland: 19.4%
  • Connecticut: 18.6%
  • Michigan: 17.8%
  • New Jersey: 15.6%
  • Illinois: 15.5%

The state with the lowest percentage of distressed sales was North Dakota, with 2.5%. At their peak January 2009, distressed sales accounted for 32.4% of all REO sales. Prior to the housing crisis, the share of distressed sales traditionally held at around 2%.