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ZipRealty Analysis: Are All-Cash Home Sales Declining?

While Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago had the highest concentration of non-financed real estate sales in 2013, the volume of transactions may be moderating.

EMERYVILLE, Calif., March 26, 2014 – ZipRealty, Inc. (http://www.ziprealty.com) (NASDAQ: ZIPR), a leading online residential real estate brokerage and provider of technology and marketing solutions, analyzed all ZipRealty transactions from January 2012 through December 2013 and concluded that one of every four real estate transactions closed without financing.

“Upon first glance, it may seem high that a quarter of all ZipRealty home sales closed without financing in 2012 and 2013,” said ZipRealty CEO and President Lanny Baker. “But based on our own internal analysis and data from the National Association of Realtors, the percentage of all-cash real estate transactions may actually be moderating. Nationwide, the percentage of all-cash real estate transactions reached a five-year high in 2010 at 27%, and the percentage of all-cash property sales has slowly declined or flattened every subsequent year.”

All-cash transactions accounted for 20% of the residential real estate market in 2009, and 25.6% of the market in 2011, NAR reports. According to ZipRealty’s analysis, 26% of all the real estate transactions closed by ZipRealty agents were purchased with cash, while 25% of the homes purchased through ZipRealty agents in 2013 were acquired with cash.

Two important market forces have made all-cash financing more prevalent in the residential real estate market over the past few years, including:

· Increased investor activity in the housing market
· Historically low housing inventory levels

“Investors that are backed by institutions have the financial wherewithal to write a check for a home, unlike some consumers right now. And these investors are still active in a quite a few metro areas across the country,” said Van Davis, President of Brokerage Operations for ZipRealty.

Sellers are increasingly seeking all-cash offers due to historically low inventory numbers, which leads to stiff competition between buyers, Mr. Davis added. “Low inventory is making cash offers on houses mandatory in some markets for buyers. Many agents have told us anecdotally that some buyers may arrange post-close financing, which do not show as financed deal on the contract for purchase.”

According to the study, the metros with the most real estate purchased with all-cash in 2013 include: Las Vegas 48%; Orlando 43%; Chicago 33%; Richmond, Va. 32%; Los Angeles 29%

Of all the metros surveyed by ZipRealty, Greater Chicago housing inventory dropped the most on a year-over-year percentage basis. Inventory declined 25% since Jan. 31, 2013 to approximately 29,300 homes. That compares to the overall inventory in the housing markets tracked by ZipRealty, which declined 7% annually as of Jan. 31.

About ZipRealty, Inc.
ZipRealty is a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry. For home buyers and sellers who increasingly want control, choice and a seamless, customized service, ZipRealty offers Internet-enabled, state-of-the-art technology and complete access to accurate, timely information via their website and mobile applications, which real estate professionals can combine with their own local knowledge and personal expertise to offer an exceptional start-to-finish client experience. For real estate professionals who seek more productive ways to conduct business, ZipRealty provides technology and online marketing tools to enhance their online sales channel, including lead generation, conversion and service of their clients. ZipRealty’s technology and online marketing products serve its full-service, owned-and-operated residential real estate brokerage business in 19 markets nationwide, as well as its Powered by Zip network of leading third-party local brokerages in 20 markets.

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