Cash buyers have the biggest sway in Wales, where more than half of purchases are made without a mortgage. More than 50pc of purchases in the country across the second half of October, whole of November and December and first half of January were completed using cash, compared with 46pc in the same three-month period in 2021.
Carol Peett, of West Wales Property Finders, a buying agent, said many cash buyers in Wales were returning having lived in London or South East England, where house prices are higher, and a recent sale had given them enough equity to purchase without a mortgage .
Ms Peett said: “There is no doubt they have a huge advantage. Frankly for smallholdings or coastal properties there was very little hope of securing a property unless you were a cash buyer when the market was red hot last year.
“Even now the market has slowed slightly for winter, the best properties still go to cash buyers. We can definitely secure a better price than those with mortgages as the sale is more likely to complete.”
Cash gave buyers “stronger bargaining power”, added Ms Peett, and any buyers relying on a loan needed to have a mortgage agreed in principle to have a chance of competing.
The North West of England had the second highest share of cash buyers over the past three months, with 45pc of sales completed without a mortgage – compared with 34pc in the same period a year earlier.
Similarly, 44pc of movers have bought using cash in the South West of England since the middle of October, up from 40pc in the same period the previous year. In contrast, little more than a fifth of buyers used cash in London, which has the most expensive property prices in the country.