Cash Buyers

Cash Buyers

Here are some stats about the amount of cash buyers that are out there. Charlie

Buyers are paying cash residential real estate

Nationally, all-cash offers accounted for 22 percent of the market during December 2009, according to data from The National Association of Realtors. For all of last year, all-cash offers represented 8 percent of the market, up from 7 percent in 2008, says Walt Molony, an NAR spokesman.

The trend appears to be led by investors, who have few viable lending options now, says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance in Bethesda, Md. In recent months, 98 percent of investors’ purchases of distressed property were completed in all-cash deals, says Cecala.

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service is unable to track data on all-cash offers. But anecdotally, agents say cash is playing a bigger role in the local marketplace.

“This really kicked up in the past 10 months,” says Paul Harvey McLaughlin, an associate broker with John L. Scott Real Estate’s University Village office.
McLaughlin says the trend comes from two buying groups — primary buyers who believe that cash makes them more competitive bidders, and investors with a similar outlook or an inability to tap loans for investment property.

McLaughlin says he recently handled a $429,000 short-sale listing that sold for $380,000 to an all-cash buyer, despite the fact that a buyer with financing had offered $395,000. In a short sale, the seller owes more on his or her mortgage than the home is worth on the market. Lenders weigh in on the sale — and in this case, the lenders chose cash, McLaughlin notes.

McLaughlin estimates that when a buyer pays all cash he or she may be able to pay 5 to 10 percent below asking, in part because sellers — whether individual or institutional — like the assurance of cash.


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