The proportion of homes bought without a mortgage has hit an all-time high, according to Britain’s second largest mortgage lender.
Nationwide says 38% of homes were sold to cash buyers in the first three months of the year.
Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, says: “The data suggests the share of cash purchases in London is not out of line with the rest of the UK.”
The mortgage lender’s figures reveal the highest proportion of home purchases that did not require a mortgage was in north-east England followed by south-west England.
The building society also reports the number of cash buyers, rather than the proportion, has risen slightly since 2008, but has still not reached the peak seen during the housing boom of 2007.
And analysts suggest the rise in mortgage revealed by the latest Bank of England figures mean the number of cash buyers is unlikely to increase.
Nationwide’s data also reveals that UK house prices in May were 4.6% higher than a year ago and up 0.3% when compared with April. It says the average price of a UK home is now £195,166.