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CoreLogic: Cash Leaves Chicago, Homebuyers Rejoice

by James F. McClister

CoreLogic’s March cash sales report found cash purchases are falling dramatically all across the nation

cash-sales-march-2015-corelogic-inventory

The pool of real estate cash is shrinking as all-cash buyers continue leaving the market, making way for more traditionally financed buyers, particularly first-time buyers, among persisting, widespread inventory shortages, according to a March cash sales report from CoreLogic.

In March, cash sales fell about 5 percentage points year-over-year to 34.6 percent of total home sales nationally. While the drop is a positive note for the industry, it’s not all that surprising. March’s decline is the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year declines, which began Jan. 2013.

Since cash sale hit their peak share in Jan. 2011 at 46.5 percent, their significance in the national market has faded substantially. A large reason for the decline is the drop in foreclosed and distressed properties, which formerly gave investors ample crops of low hanging fruit to pick and flip, as well as a general exodus of all-cash and foreign investors, who’ve left for more immediate returns and less robust currencies.

Nationally, CoreLogic researchers expect cash sales share to hit pre-crisis levels of 25 percent by mid-2016. However, at the metro level, there is a great diversity among markets.

In the Windy City, cash sales continued their slow, but steady descent into irrelevancy, dropping year-over-year from 39.4 to 36.2 percent. Levels are a ways off but still approaching the pre-crisis benchmark of 25 percent.

Statewide, March cash sales made up 33 percent of total sales.

March2015CashSalesShareGraphNEW-01

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