Past generations preferred to stick their savings in mattresses rather than the bank. Current home buyers would rather pay with a wheelbarrow of cash rather than endure the hassles of taking out a mortgage
While cash purchases are traditionally associated with investors, current homeowners have turned to cash in an effort to gain an advantage in the bidding process and to avoid the red tape associated with mortgage financing, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.
Some 26.2 percent of home purchases by current homeowners in March relied solely on cash, based on a three month moving average. That was up from the 12-month low of 22.8 percent seen in August.
In December, all-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales, according to RealtyTrac.
Tom Popik, research director at Campbell Surveys, said the mortgage market’s declining share of home purchase financing is part of a seasonal trend that has reversed around April in each of the past three years, suggesting that the mortgage share of home purchase financing could increase this spring.
However, a fair amount of homebuyers appear likely to rely on cash going forward due to delays in the closing process that are often prompted by mortgages. In March, 30 percent of home purchases financed with a loan destined for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that had a downpayment of at least 20 percent were delayed, according to HousingPulse.
The delays on government-sponsored enterprise mortgages were predominantly due to underwriting issues and documentation, according to real estate agents. Appraisal issues also played a factor.
Even all-cash purchases aren’t immune to delays in closing, with 24 percent of home purchase transactions relying on cash financing experiencing delays in March.
However, the closing time on cash transactions remains at least 10 days shorter, on average, than the closing time for a mortgage that doesn’t experience any delays. And home purchases financed solely with cash that experienced delays in March closed in an average of 48 days in March, 14 days shorter than the average for delayed GSE mortgages.