Despite record low mortgage rates, 2011 has seen a surprisingly high level of cash home purchases, according to the real estate research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.
Jonathan Dienhart and Ken Lee, two analysts with the company, say between tight lending standards and a desperate search for yield by investors, cash purchases of homes – particularly for distressed properties – became even more common in 2011 than last year.
Dienhart and Lee analyzed data collected through Hanley Wood’s Housing IntelligencePro, and shared their findings in a blog post.
The two discovered that 38 percent of homes purchased in 2011 were bought with all cash. That’s up from 34 percent in 2010, and double the 19 percent rate in 2006.
According to Dienhart and Lee, this trend is likely to continue in the near term. They note that cash-paying investors are responsible for an increasing share of home purchases nowadays as prior homeowners abandon the ownership market and head back to rentals.