Investors ramped up their purchases of single-family homes last year to a level not seen since 2007 — and only half of those buyers financed the purchase. Almost half (49%) paid cash, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Investors purchased 1.2 million homes in 2011, up nearly 65% from the prior year. The 1.2 million figure represents 27% of all new and existing home sales that occurred last year.

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