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Cash is king in home sales

February 29, 2012: 4:17 PM ET
home for sale

Got some cash to buy a home?

More home buyers are bringing cash to the table these days.

All-cash transactions hit a record 34.1% of all home purchases last month, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. That's up from 29.4% a year go.

"Despite near record low mortgage rates, homebuyers are finding it very advantageous in the current housing market to shop with cash," according to the survey. "And low returns on money deposited in banks as well as mortgage approval hassles also are pushing homebuyers to consider all cash transactions."

Interestingly, it's current homeowners who are using cash more often to buy a principal residence, the survey found. The share using cash rose 3.3 percentage points between October and January, while the share of investors and first-time buyers remained nearly flat. A lot of affluent homeowners are opting to use nothing but cash to purchase new homes.

All-cash buyers can command discounts of about 10%. And it's an especially powerful way to get a better price on distressed properties, the survey said.

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About This Author
Tami Luhby
Tami Luhby
Senior writer, CNNMoney

Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers income inequality, state fiscal problems, unemployment, housing policy and other economic issues. Luhby previously covered personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business.

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