Cash sales accounted for 35.5 percent of total home sales in October 2014, down from 38.7 percent in October 2013, according to CoreLogic. The year-over-year share has fallen each month since January 2013, making October the 22nd consecutive month of declines. Month over month, the cash sales share ticked up by half of a percentage point, as is typical for the fall and winter months. Due to seasonality in the housing market, comparisons with the share of cash sales should be made on a year-over-year basis to ensure accuracy.
The peak of cash sales occurred in January 2011, when cash transactions made up 46.4 percent of total home sales. Prior to the housing crisis, the share of cash sales averaged approximately 25 percent. At the current rate of year-over-year decrease, the cash sales share should be back to pre-crisis levels in 2017.
Real estate owned (REO) sales had the largest cash sales share in October 2014 at 58.7 percent, followed by resales (35 percent), short sales (33 percent), and newly constructed homes (16.8 percent). While the percentage of REO sales that were cash transactions remained high, REO transactions made up only 7.9 percent of total sales in October and, therefore, did not have a large 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.