Mortgage rates have soared north of 7% in recent months, driven higher by the Federal Reserve's war on inflation.
Loans are so expensive that many poorer Americans have been priced out of the housing market.
One-in-three homebuyers are paying all-cash rather than taking out a mortgage, according to data from Redfin.
September saw the highest rate of all-cash transactions – 34.1% – since 2014, the real-estate brokerage found, in an analysis of 40 of the US's most-populated cities.
That's a sign that wealthier Americans are making up a greater share of homebuyers with sky-high mortgage rates pricing out the rest of the population, Redfin said.
"All-cash purchases are making up a bigger piece of the homebuying pie for two major reasons," data journalist Dana Anderson wrote in the brokerage's report.
"Affluent Americans who can afford to pay cash are more apt to buy homes in such an expensive housing market, when the income necessary to buy a home is higher than ever before, and elevated mortgage rates make buying a home in cash and avoiding interest altogether more attractive," she added.
US housing affordability fell to the lowest level since 1985 over the third quarter, according to data the National Association of Realtors shared with Business Insider.
Soaring mortgage rates are one factor that's made buying a home so expensive. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has climbed from 3.2% in January 2021 to 7.4% as of Thursday, per Freddie Mac, driven higher by the Federal Reserve's war on inflation, which has seen the central bank jack up borrowing costs.
Existing homeowners have also opted to cling to the historically low mortgage rates they locked in over the last 15 years. Just 1% of Americans sold their houses over the first half of 2023, starving the market of supply.
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