Published: May 08, 2014 7:09 AM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Cash is king in Florida real estate.
    
A study released Thursday shows that almost two-thirds of Florida housing sales in the first quarter of this year were done in cash.
    
That is the highest rate in the nation and well above the national average of 42.7 percent, according to the study by the research firm, RealtyTrac.
    
Five Florida metro areas also had the nation's highest rates of cash sales. Those areas were Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Miami, Sarasota, Palm Bay and Lakeland.
    
Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac says the high rates of cash sales show that investors are still finding Florida popular.
    
Although the percentage of institutional investors has declined from the end of 2013, mom-and-pop investors and foreign investors are still finding Florida attractive.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)