The number of cash buyers in the UK property market is at its lowest level since 2007.
Less than a third (28 percent) of homes were bought with cash in the first six months of this year.
That compares to a high of 36 percent a decade ago.
Every region registers a fall
The figures come from new research by Hamptons International.
The leading estate agency has revealed that in the last two years alone, the proportion of homes bought with cash fell by 5 percent in the UK.
Every region has recorded a fall in cash sale, with the West Midlands seeing the biggest fall since 2017 of -9 percent, followed by London at -7 percent.
The smallest home of cash buyers was in Scotland, at -2 percent since 2017.
South-west busiest for cash buyers
Meanwhile, the south-west is the region with the highest proportion of homes bought without a mortgage, coming in at 34 percent of properties purchased in the first half of this year.
London had the lowest proportion of cash sales – fewer than a fifth (19 percent) of homes were bought without a mortgage in the first six months of 2019.
Hamptons points to fewer older homeowners realising the equity in their homes and downsizing to buy outright.
Much of that is down to the lack of suitable properties for older people.
Less activity from downsizers
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “Cash buyers have tended to be older generations downsizing by cashing in on equity gained from past house growth.
“The fall in cash purchases not only reflects tighter affordability but also a decrease in activity among downsizers.
“Recent slower price growth, higher stamp duty bills on new purchases and uncertainty have contributed to fewer downsizers.
“It also reflects a fall in the number of homes bought by investors, many of whom used cash to purchase their properties.”