The number of California homes purchased with cash reached an all-time high last year, according to new data from San Diego-based DataQuick.
Last year saw a total of 145,797 condos and houses in California purchased without mortgage financing. This broke the previous record of 125,812 in 2011. In comparison, the cash sales in 2007 – the beginning of the housing market's decline – was a mere 39,731.
Cash purchases accounted for a record 32.4% of California's overall home sales last year, up from 30.4% in 2011 and more than double the annual average of 15.6% since 1991, when DataQuick's cash statistics began.
‘It's clear that a lot of today's housing market recovery is being fueled by people putting their own money into homes,’ says John Walsh, president of DataQuick. ‘Some cash buying is part of a normal housing market, but we're at twice that normal rate. There are always some rich people – also buyers from abroad – but in a normal market the biggest single category would be retirees and empty nesters who are downsizing. Today, a lot of buyers are chasing what they view as the deal of a lifetime.’