RealtyTrac Logo RealtyTrac today released its Q2 2014 U.S. Institutional Investor & Cash Sales Report and both the Fort Myers-Cape Coral market and the Naples-Marco Island  market finished near the top both statewide and nationally with over 60% of all homes sold being all cash sales.. In the U.S., all-cash sales made up 37.9 percent of all sales of single family homes and condos nationwide in the second quarter, down from a three-year high of 42 percent in the previous quarter. However, cash sales in a year-to-year comparison went up from 35.7 percent.

In Florida, all-cash sales declined quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year.

According to RealtyTrac, all-cash sales in the state made up 57.9 percent of transactions in the second quarter of 2014 and 59.6 percent on year earlier. However, they took a significant drop from the first quarter of this year when they made up 62.3 percent.

Sales to institutional investors – entities that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year – also dropped in Florida. They made up 7.3 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2014 and, year-to-year, the second quarter of 2013; but by the second quarter of this year, investor sales dropped to 6.5 percent.

Nationwide, institutional investors made up 4.7 percent of all sales of single-family homes and condos in the second quarter, down from 5.3 percent in the previous quarter, and down from 5.8 percent a year earlier. It was the lowest percent of these investors since the first quarter of 2012.

“The flurry of purchases by institutional investors and other cash buyers that kicked off two years ago when U.S. home prices hit bottom is finally showing signs of subsiding,” says Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president. “Over the past 10 quarters, cash sales have accounted for 39 percent of all home sales on average, and institutional investor purchases have accounted for 5.3 percent of all home sales on average. Prior to that, from 2001 to 2011, the average quarterly cash share was 30 percent, and the average quarterly institutional investor share was 2.6 percent.”

Blomquist calls the numbers “classic good news/bad news” for the housing market.

“The good news is that fewer cash buyers should help loosen up inventory of homes for sale and reduce competitive bidding, giving first time homebuyers and other non-cash buyers more opportunities,” he says. “The bad news is that some of those first time homebuyers and other non-cash buyers may already be priced out of the market thanks to the rapid run-up in home prices over the past two years in many areas.”

In a look at large metropolitan statistical areas, Florida cities make the top six spots: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach (64.1 percent all-cash sales), Naples-Marco Island  (64 percent), Cape Coral-Fort Myers (62.1 percent), Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (61.5 percent), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (54.6 percent), Lakeland (53.0 percent), and Orlando-Kissimmee (52.2 percent). However, all six metros also had fewer all-cash sales than the previous quarter and one year earlier.

Among metropolitan statistical areas, Jacksonville, Fla., ranked No. 3 nationwide at 12.5 percent for institutional investor sales.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®