Elevated levels of all-cash sales reflect a market whose housing finance mechanisms have still failed to activate fully.

CoreLogic analyst Molly Boesel reports that cash sales accounted for 32.5% of total home sales in September 2015, down 3.4 percentage points from 35.9% in September 2014.

To some degree, an above-par percentage of all-cash sales represents a housing market that is still under repair. Normally, pre-Great Recession, all-cash sales ran at about one in four transactions, 25%. Higher levels of cash sales mean that more discretionary and cash-rich participants are driving volume levels, as lower percentages of would-be buyers can access the mortgage credit markets. Boesel writes about the trends from a geographical market vantage point:

Of the nation’s largest 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs)[3] measured by population, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. had the highest cash sales share at 50.8 percent, followed by West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Fla. (50.6 percent), Philadelphia, Pa. (48.9 percent), Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla. (47.9 percent) and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. (47.2 percent). Syracuse, N.Y.had the lowest cash sales share at 14.1 percent.

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