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New Home Sales: Cash Purchases on the Rise

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By Robert Dietz

The share of new single-family home sales purchased with cash rose during the second quarter of 2014, reaching 8.4 percent of sales.

The onset of the housing crisis in 2007 led to a decline in the share of new home sales due to conventional mortgage financing and increases in the shares due to mortgages backed by the FHA and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), as well as cash purchases.

The second quarter data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing indicates that count of cash-based new home sales rose to 10,000 for the quarter, matching a cycle high. During the 2002-2003 period, cash sales made up only 4 percent of purchases. In contrast, cash purchases constitute a considerably larger share of the existing home market – 32 percent of sales in June 2014 for example.

It is worth noting that another measure of cash sales for total new construction from CoreLogic shows a higher level of cash sales than the Census: 17 percent in April 2014.

New home sales due to FHA-backed loans fell to 11 percent of the market during the second quarter. This is down from 28 percent in the first quarter of 2010 and is closer to the 10 percent 2002-2003 average. As the conventional mortgage financing share has risen, the share of new single-family home sales due to FHA-backed mortgages has declined. Falling FHA loan limits will likely place additional downward pressure on this share in 2014.

VA-backed loans were responsible for about 11 percent of new home sales during the second quarter of 2014.

These sources of financing serve distinct market segments, which is revealed in part by the median new home price allocable to each. For the second quarter, the median new home price due to FHA financing was $212,500. The median price for VA-backed loans rose to $274,800.

Conventional mortgage financing had a median price of $289,500.

Finally, the median price for cash purchases for the fourth quarter was $303,500.

View this original post on the NAHB blog, Eye on Housing.

 

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