401k and IRA Retirement Accounts are being used for substantial cash purchases.
This may be purely anecdotal - but it appears that more and more people are tapping into their 401k AND IRA retirement accountS to pay cash for homes.
In the last month I have been involved in three transactions like this. Some are people who have had Short Sales recently which preclude them from buying. Others are marginally employed people who have substantial cash in retirement but low income and are not qualitifed to borrow for a purchase.
It is interesting to see how people are resourceful and are using this resource to ensure that they are not homeless and also can take advantage of low market prices despite not being able to secure traditional lending.
In Southeast Michigan where prices are deeply discounted over the peak in 2005 - buyers are not taking "NO" for an answer.