Cash used to be king in the housing market but new figures released today show that in the first half of this year only 29.6 per cent of homes across England and Wales were purchased without a mortgage.
The figures - based on Countrywide data - show the lowest level of cash buyers since the company’s records began in 2007.
The new analysis, released by the reseaerch team at Countrywide’s Hamptons International, says that in the first half of this year 113,490 homes were purchased with cash.
This is a hefty 21 per cent less than in the same period of 2017.
In the first half of this year the south west had the highest proportion of cash buyers (37 per cent) and London had the lowest (21 per cent). In London the average home bought with cash cost £503,560, more than double the average spent in the south west (£249,220).
“Housing affordability has a role to play in the decline, as does the drop off in investor activity. Cash buyers have historically tended to be older generations downsizing by cashing in on equity gained from past house price growth. But recent slower price growth and higher stamp duty bills on new purchases have contributed to fewer downsizers, and as a result, fewer cash buyers” says Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International.