RealtyTrac LogoIn a report released by RealtyTrac, all-cash home sales nationwide reached a record 42.7% in the first quarter of 2014, with the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metropolitan area leading the country with 73.6% all-cash sales.

The study looked at metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 500,000. Fort Myers was followed by four other Florida cities in the top five nationwide,  Miami (67.1 percent), Sarasota, (65.1 percent), Palm Bay, (64.1 percent), and Lakeland, (61.8 percent).

Other major metro areas with more than 50 percent all-cash sales included New York (57.0 percent), Columbia, S.C., (56.1 percent), Memphis (54.9 percent), Detroit (53.5 percent), Atlanta (53.2 percent) and Las Vegas (52.2 percent).

The report also looked at purchases by institutional investors-entities that have purchased at least 10 properties in a calendar year- and found that institutional investors accounted for 5.6 percent of all U.S. residential sales in the first quarter, down from 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and down from 7.0 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2012.

RealtyTrac, based in Irvine, California is a leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with nationwide parcel-level records for more than 125 million U.S. parcels that include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and 20 million active and historical default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties. RealtyTrac’s housing data and foreclosure reports are relied on by many federal government agencies, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.