All-cash home sales reach new high

RealtyTrac: Other buyers will fill the void left by lack of demand from institutional investors

All-cash home sales reached their highest level in at least three years in the first quarter, though institutional investors accounted for a smaller share of sales, according to the latest report from real estate data aggregator RealtyTrac.Of all home sales in the first three months of the year, 42.7 percent were all-cash purchases, up from 37.8 percent the previous quarter and from 19.1 percent in the first three months of 2013. That's the highest level since RealtyTrac began tracking all-cash purchases in the first quarter of 2011, the company said.Meanwhile, institutional investors -- entities that have purchased at least 10 properties in a calendar year -- accounted for the smallest share of purchases since first-quarter 2012. Such investors made up 5.6 percent of all U.S. home sales in the first quarter, down from 6.8 percent in fourth-quarter 2013 and from 7 percent in first-quarter 2013.“Strict lending standards combined with low inventory continue to give the ad...