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Housing Slowly Heads Towards Normal: RealtyTrac's Blomquist

Cash sales will likely continue to be high in places that are still working off high levels of distressed inventory. Metro areas with higher percentages of cash sales included Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (70%), Miami (64%), Las Vegas (62%), Sarasota, Fla. (59%), Tampa, Fla. (58%), and Detroit (56%), according to the report.

Crucially, as investor interest wanes and prices moderate, first-time homebuyers and trade-up buyers will have to step up to fill the void. The share of first-time homebuyers has been unusually low and their participation is viewed as critical for a healthy housing market.

Separately, the report also noted that short sales in June were sharply higher from a year ago. Short sales (where the sale price is below the combined total of outstanding mortgages secured by the property) accounted for 14% of all residential sales in June, down from 15% in May but up from 8% a year ago.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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