Nearly a third of the homes and condos purchased last year in California were bought with cash, according to DataQuick. That's 146-thousand properties - about 20-thousand more than in 2011, and a new record. For some perspective, in 2007, as the housing market was deflating, there were about 40-thousand homes bought with cash.
DataQuick says investor interest in what many consider the "deal of a lifetime," is driving cash sales. The firm also credits the difficult mortgage environment and perceived higher returns on investment.