All-cash deals accounted for 45 percent of home sales last month, up from 30 percent in August 2012, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. Some buyers are local flippers who are looking to make quick renovations and sell for a higher price, while others are institutional investors with Wall Street money who typically convert homes into rental units.
Ordinary home buyers are at a disadvantage because they have to go through the lengthy, more uncertain process of seeking mortgage financing. "In single-family neighborhoods, buying means going up against investors," says Liza Mendez, a Miami realtor who represents both buyers and sellers. "You have to be very aggressive, and get there first." Cash buyers accounted for 69 percent of all sales in Miami, 66 percent in Las Vegas, and 65 percent in Jacksonville, Fla.