August Cash Home Sales Highest in Alabama, New York, and Florida

In August of 2016, cash sales comprised 31.1% of all home sales, down from 32.6% in August of 2015, marking the 44th 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 U.S. 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-2019.

August data was reported Tuesday 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 August were Alabama (44.9%), New York (42%), Florida (40.9%), Indiana (38.6%), and Kansas (38%). 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 4.6% of total August 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: 19.1%
  • Connecticut: 18.5%
  • Michigan: 17.7%
  • New Jersey: 15.9%
  • Illinois: 15.3%

The state with the lowest percentage of distressed sales was North Dakota, with 2.6%. 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%.