U.S. real estate transactions increasingly paid for in cash

A report in the newspaper this week cited statistics from Zillow.com showing more than half of the transactions in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area last year were bought by cash buyers. In comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2006, they represented just 13% of deals.

Similar increases were seen in Arizona as well. Nationally, 28% of all sales were all-cash transactions last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. It was half that in 2008, when the number was first tracked nationally.

The Wall Street Journal said the jump in cash transactions was "another sign of the revival of animal spirits in the U.S. economy." Buyers increasingly want to get in on bargain prices, but often only those with enough cash can do so, since lending has tightened so much.

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