Approximately one in three homes are now bought with cash – the highest level for over 60 years.
Both the number and proportion of cash purchases have been climbing in recent years.
There were one in four cash purchases before the financial crisis. Immediately after the crash, the proportion of cash transactions grew, but not the number.
The proportion grew only because the total number of mortgaged transactions fell away sharply.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders says that last year, the proportion of cash purchases was likely to have been at the highest level in post-war years.
By contrast, mortgage lending has failed to recover, with the number of mortgaged purchases remaining “significantly lower than in 2007”.
According to the CML, London is the region with the lowest proportion of cash transactions – at 27% – in England and Wales.
The region with the highest proportion of cash transactions is the south-west at 40%, followed by Wales with 36%.
The CML’s research also found that people paid very similar prices for homes whether bought with cash or a mortgage.
The large majority of cash buyers are aged 55-plus.