Roughly one-third of all home sales in the Albuquerque metro area were all-cash deals in the second quarter, typical of what’s going on in metros across much of the country, RealtyTrac reported Tuesday.

Albuquerque ranked 44 out of the 100 largest metros for having the highest percentage of all-cash home purchases at 34.1 percent in the second quarter, up from both 30.1 percent in the preceding first quarter and 21.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, the Irvine, Calif.-based firm reported.

The average nationwide was 37.9 percent of sales were all-cash deals in the second quarter, down from 42 percent in the first quarter but an increase from 35.7 percent a year earlier. All-cash deals peaked at 45.8 percent nationwide in the first quarter of 2012.

“The flurry of purchases by institutional investors and other cash buyers that kicked off two years ago when U.S. home prices hit bottom is finally showing signs of subsiding,” said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist in a prepared statement, noting that median home prices bottomed out in March 2012.

All-cash purchases are widely viewed as an indicator of investor activity, although they are by no means conclusive on that score. Albuquerque was one of 48 metros in the top 100 to see a year-over-year increase in all-cash purchases.

All-cash purchases have tended to run at a higher rate, but are now dropping, in metros that experienced big housing bubbles followed by steep crashes. Top 100 metros in Arizona, California and Florida all saw year-over-year declines in all-cash deals in the second quarter.

Generally tracking with the national trend, activity by “institutional investors” in Albuquerque’s housing market is on the decline. RealtyTrac defines an institutional investor as an individual or entity, excluding lenders, that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year.

Institutional investors were credited with 2.2 percent of all home sales in Albuquerque in the second quarter, up slightly from 2.1 percent in the first quarter but less than half of the 5.1 percent share a year earlier.

Nationwide, institutional investors were credited with 4.7 percent of all home sales in the second quarter, down from both 5.3 percent in the first quarter and 5.8 percent a year earlier. Institutional investors were most active in Atlanta; Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Las Vegas, Nev., this past second quarter.

 

Original Article By:Richard Metcalf- Journal Staff Writer