Markets & Economy

Cash is still king, but traditional buyers are making a comeback

More than 80 percent of low-end home sales in Tampa, Detroit and Miami were cash deals

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Cash's grip on the housing market loosened during the first quarter as investors pulled back and more traditional buyers waded into the market, according to a new report from Zillow. All-cash deals still accounted for well over half of sales in some markets, with cash buyers continuing to feast on the cheapest homes -- a pattern that has caused headaches for first-time buyers, Zillow said. Entry-level buyers appear to be facing some of their stiffest competition from investors in markets likes Tampa, Detroit and Miami, where more than 80 percent of all sales in the lowest price bracket were cash deals. Slicing up cash sales by price tiers points towards cash sales' disproportionate impact on first-time buyers. In 27 of the 30 largest metros, they accounted for more than a third of home purchases in the bottom third of home values. Still, traditional buyers are mounting a comeback. "Housing is much more than an investment for most buyers, and it's heartening to see more...