In September, the share of homebuyers paying all cash was 34.1%. This is the highest it has been since the beginning of 2014, and an increase of 4.6% from September 2022. However, this doesn’t mean homes are more affordable; in fact, it’s the opposite.
While it’s true that a significantly higher share of buyers are paying all cash, there are much fewer sales overall. Total sales decreased by 23% over the past year. Compare this to a decrease of only 11% for all cash sales. Cash sales aren’t going up, rather sales overall are going down, and cash buyers are less affected.
The reason for this is high interest rates, since cash buyers don’t care what the interest rate is for a mortgage loan they aren’t getting. Interest rates fluctuate up and down on a daily basis, but rarely change by much at a time. But in this case, they hit a two decade high in September at 7.2 and then continued an upward trend into October, almost reaching 8%. As of last week, they had started to drop back down. Despite this decrease, with how erratic rates can be, that isn’t a sure sign that rates are now trending downward.