It says 350,000 properties were bought outright with cash in 2013, accounting for more than a third of sales and a higher proportion than at any time since 2007
But many of these cash buyers are not freeing up other ‘right size’ houses to help move the market substantially.
Some cash buyers, such as older owners who are downsizing, will release a home for sale at the same time; but others – such as second home buyers or buy-to-let investors, who were predominantly cash buyers according to Hamptons – snap up available stock for sale without adding to it by releasing another home.
“Low levels of stock have been a factor driving rapid price increases particularly in the south of England. Until we see more owners moving home, who have properties to sell as well as buy, the shortage of homes for sale is likely to continue. The result being that 2014 looks to remain a sellers’ market” explains Hamptons’ head of research, Johnny Morris.