In Pennsylvania, Significant Jump in “Cash Only” Home Purchases

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Pennsylvania homebuyers who paid cash for a house were also more likely to have a lower income, according to a recent Welcome Home quarterly survey released by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®.

“While is seems counterintuitive that 1 in 3 buyers with incomes under $50,000 reported buying homes in cash, age may be driving a higher share of lower-income respondents reporting cash-only purchases,” said PAR President Kathy McQuilkin. “The survey showed 75 percent of cash-only buyers were over 50 years old, while 64 percent of those with an income of under $50,000 were over 50 years old.”

Cash-only home purchases overall dropped to the historical averages in the first quarter of 2017, following two quarters of increasing numbers. Since the first Welcome Home survey in 2015, an average of 23 percent of homebuyers surveyed reported buying their homes in cash. Last year in the fourth quarter, the share of cash-only purchases peaked at 30 percent of all respondents.

“The most recent survey indicated that homebuyers reporting a cash-only purchase dropped to just under 25 percent,” she said. “We also discovered that 28 percent of females and 23 percent of males made cash-only purchases.”

More homebuyers are unsure of how long they plan to stay in their current home, compared to past surveys. Previous Welcome Home surveys showed an average of 14 percent of respondents were unsure, while the first quarter survey showed 23 percent are unsure of the how long they’ll remain in their home.

The survey also found that 55 percent of homebuyers use home search websites and apps to conduct some initial searches for their homes. “Home search sites,® and Zillow, continue to be the most popular, with® slowly rising in use and narrowing the gap between the two sites,” McQuilkin added.

The Welcome Home surveys are conducted for PAR by Keystone Analytics® and provide information on consumer homebuying trends. More survey results are available online at

The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® is a trade/professional association that serves more than 30,000 members in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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