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Cash Sales Decline for 24th Consecutive Month

Cash sales made up 35 percent of all home sales in December 2014, according to data released by CoreLogic today. December marks the 24th consecutive month of declines in year-to-year share numbers, which has fallen each month since January 2013. Because of seasonality, cash sale comparisons are best when looking at year-to-year data. Cash transactions hit its peak in January 2011 when cash transactions made up 46.5 percent of total home sales. Before the housing crisis, the cash sale share of total home sales averaged at about 25 percent. If the trend of cash sales decline continues at the same rate, the share should reach 25 percent by the middle of 2017.

Real estate owned (REO) sales increased the most from 2000 to 2014 and had the largest cash sales share in December 2014 at 58.4 percent. Resales had the second largest amount of cash sales share at 35.4 percent, while short sales at 32.7 percent and newly constructed homes at 15.6 percent had the smallest amount of cash sales share.  While the percentage of REO sales that were cash transactions remained high, REO transactions made up only 8.8 percent of all sales in December and, therefore, had a small influence on the overall cash sales share. In January 2011, when the cash sales share was at its peak, REO sales made up 23.9 percent of total sales.

Cash sales varied by state with Alabama having the largest share of any state at 52.2 percent. Florida, New York, Michigan, and Idaho all had high numbers in cash sales with Florida at 50.3 percent and Idaho at 42.9 percent. Maryland, Washington, Colorado, and Minnesota had lower numbers in cash sales with Maryland coming in last at 19 percent. Of the nation's largest 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Michigan had the highest share of cash sales at 65.9 percent, followed by Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida At 58.3 percent, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Florida at 57.2 percent, Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Florida at 56.3 percent and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida at 55.6 percent. Syracuse, New York had the lowest cash sales share at 15 percent.

About Author: Samantha Guzman

Samantha Guzman is an award-winning visual journalist and graduate of the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism. She specializes in visual storytelling and has skills in video, audio and photography, in addition to news writing. She has traveled to Mexico and Bosnia as an assistant for multiple multimedia projects and taught news writing, photojournalism, and narrative storytelling in the past.
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