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All cash house buyers at all time high

Great Park IrvineRealtyTrac reported Thursday that the percentage of all-cash buyers has soared in the past year, with 42.7% of all U.S. residential property sales in the first quarter all-cash purchases, up from 37.8% in the previous quarter and up from 19.1% in the first quarter of 2013.

Hilary Clinton

Notably, this is the highest level since RealtyTrac began tracking all-cash purchases in the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, institutional investors are walking away from housing according to Housing Wire.

According to RealtyTrac’s report, institutional investors — entities that have purchased at least 10 properties in a calendar year — accounted for 5.6% of all U.S. residential sales in the first quarter, down from 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and down from 7% in the first quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2012.

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Housing still flat

Orange County logoHousing Wire reports that the latest edition of the Obama Administration’s housing scorecard shows that there are positive overall trends in the housing market, but notes that the recovery from the “Great Recession” isn’t yet complete.

The housing scorecard, prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, cites stable home prices and shrinking foreclosure rates as positive indicators for the health of the market.

But the scorecard also cautions that the tough winter and limited access to credit are contributing to a weaker market.

“April’s Housing Scorecard shows that the housing market is stabilizing, as home prices have risen nearly 7% from last year, and foreclosure completions are at their lowest level since mid-2007,” said HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Katherine O’Regan.

“However, the harsh winter, fewer distressed properties on the market, and continued tight credit standards have combined to slow the pace of home sales this month, indicating we need to remain vigilant to keep the recovery robust.”

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