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Report: REO Sales Account for More Than Half of All-Cash Transactions

REO salesThe sales of REO properties, or those repossessed by lenders, accounted for more than half of all-cash sales in the U.S. in July, according to transaction data recently released by CoreLogic.

Overall, all-cash home sales slipped yet again in July, falling to their lowest share in nearly six years, according to CoreLogic. Home sales transacted entirely in cash accounted for 32.9 percent of total home sales in July, down from 35.9 percent year-over-year. It was the lowest cash sales share since August 2008, according to CoreLogic.

By transaction type, REO sales continued to account for the majority of all-cash sales at 56.3 percent in July, CoreLogic reported. They were followed by re-sales (32.4 percent), short sales (31.1 percent), and newly built homes (16 percent).

While REO sales still account for more than half of cash transactions, REOs made up only 7.1 percent of total sales in July, meaning they made little impact on the overall cash sales share.

"A trend to watch is the cash share of re-sales, which has fallen almost 15 percentage points from its peak cash share of 47.1 percent in February 2011," said Molly Boesel, senior economist at CoreLogic. "This category will determine the direction of cash sales going forward, since re-sales make up the largest share at 81 percent of all sales."

Compared to June, cash sales were down only a tenth of a percentage point. CoreLogic says cash sales share comparisons should be made on a yearly basis due to the seasonal nature of the housing market.

As of July, all-cash sales were still well above their pre-crisis average of 25 percent as traditional mortgage buyers still find it difficult to get a foot into the market. Cash sales peaked at a share of 46.3 percent in January 2011.

Florida continued to lead all other states, with 49.7 percent of sales transacted in cash in July. Sunshine State locals also topped the list of the biggest 100 metros for cash sales, led by West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach (57.9 percent), Cape Coral-Fort Myers (57.3 percent), and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (56.5 percent).

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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