Philip Taylor via Flickr Creative Commons license 
Philip Taylor via Flickr Creative Commons license 

According to existing and new home closing data from Metrostudy, 28.22% of the recorded 4,775,522 closings during 2015 thus far have been purchased by cash buyers. As a share of total state closings, cash purchases were most prevalent in Florida (cash sales accounted for 40.12% percent of all new and existing home closings), Indiana, and New Mexico.

Cash buyers are typically investors, and while these purchases can bolster local economies in markets with lower demand, they can have a negative impact on home affordability and availability in high demand markets where inventory is tight, and bids from cash buyers will beat out those from buyers requiring a traditional mortgage.

A recent article in The New York Times examined how the flow of Chinese buyers entering the market is affecting housing, the fallout for home buyers forced to bid against cash offers, and how businesses like Zillow are developing services specifically for Chinese buyers. Chinese families accounted for the largest group of overseas home buyers in the U.S. for the first time this year, and the majority of those purchases (69%) have been made with cash. "Chinese buyers spent $28.6 billion on American homes [as of the year ending in March], more than double their purchases two years before, according to the Realtors association," Dionne Searcey and Keith Bradsher report.

The data reported in Searcey and Bradsher's article is echoed in the data we pulled from Metrostudy, as cash-only purchases account for a larger percentage of all home purchases this year compared to 2013 and 2014. While we don't have a breakdown of buyer demographics for the closings recorded below, the increase indicates that the influx of Chinese buyers has definitely made an impact (though we can't conclusively attribute the uptick in cash purchases to Chinese buyers). We've pinpointed which states in the U.S. have the largest share of cash-only transactions going through of all new and existing home closings below:  

When filtering cash only purchases of new homes and existing homes individually, states with the largest share of cash purchases vary. In New York, cash purchases account for a larger share of new home closings of any purchase type than any other state (although it is a much smaller pool). When examining cash purchases of existing homes, New York is bumped down to #8, and Florida tops the list with a whopping 41.22% share of existing home closings being purchased by cash buyers.

States With Highest Share of Existing Home Cash Buyers: 

1. Florida: 41.22% of existing home closings in 2015
- 201,321 existing home cash sales
- 488,438 total existing home closings
2. Indiana: 38.18% of existing home closings in 2015
- 41,428 existing home cash sales
- 108,515 total existing home closings
3. New Mexico: 37.68% of existing home closings in 2015
- 9,127 existing home cash sales
- 24,223 total existing home closings
4. Idaho: 37.10% of existing home closings in 2015
- 14,930 existing home cash sales
- 40,238 total existing home closings
5. Missouri: 36.85% of existing home closings in 2015
- 38,754 existing home cash sales 
- 105,168 total existing home closings 

States With Highest Share of New Home Cash Buyers:

1. New York: 36.59% of new home closings in 2015
- 1,610 new home cash sales
- 4,400 total new home closings 
2. Maine: 33.51% of new home closings in 2015
- 62 new home cash sales
- 185 total new home closings 
3. Connecticut: 30.99% of new home closings in 2015
- 106 new home cash sales
- 342 total new home closings 
4. West Virginia: 29.27% of new home closings in 2015
- 36 new home cash sales
- 123 total new home closings
5. Massachusetts: 28.96% of new home home closings in 2015
- 75 new home cash sales 
- 259 total new home closings