Cash buyers to blame for dip in home sales? Really?

Housing economist Tom Lawler thinks it a bit strange that in reporting a 5.3 percent annual decline in the pace of existing-home sales in August, the National Association of Realtors pointed the finger of blame at a drop in all-cash sales.

Writing for the Calculated Risk blog, Lawler says NAR’s conclusion that the share of all-cash sales dropped from 29 percent in July to 23 percent last month is suspect, because it’s based on a survey of Realtors that often doesn’t match market trends. Other reports suggest that all-cash sales are down from a year ago, but there’s little evidence that they plunged from July to August, Lawler says.

In his own assessment of today’s NAR report, Calculated Risk author Bill McBride says the most important stat is inventory, which was up 4.5 percent from a year ago. “Overall this was a solid report,” McBride concludes. Source: