The market for previously owned homes has made one heck of a transition in recent months. In many locations around the nation, the local real estate market has turned in favor of sellers. This has been created in part because of the shortage of homes.
Furthermore, despite mortgage interest rates that are still relatively low, more and more sale transactions—30% in June, have been all-cash, according to the latest data released by the California-based real estate data firm RealtyTrac.
Here are some of the states and percentage of all-cash home buying.
- Vermont – 80%
- Nevada – 58%
- Florida – 57%
- New York – 51%
These areas still have a large volume of foreclosed homes making its way through the system. In addition, property values are “depressed” making these locations attractive to private equity firms—who buy properties by the hundreds—and other real estate investors who want to capitalize on the market before prices start to climb higher.
Hotspot for cash-deals
Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s vice-president, described the U.S. housing market as “moving toward a more normalized and sustainable pattern after a flurry of institutional and cash buyers flocked to residential real estate last year, pushing up prices and picking clean the best inventory available in many areas.”
In Atlanta, 42 % of all sales in June were all-cash transactions. Twenty-seven percent of these buyers consisted of real estate investors. Atlanta has become the biggest metro area fat the top of the list for investors—who represent 27% of all deals, and the highest in the country.
Five of the metro areas with the highest foreclosures rate are located in Florida. The state also has 12 of the top 20 cities on the list. In June, 53% of the deals for previously owned homes consisted of all cash sales. Miami had 61% of all transactions completed in cash and Tampa had 58%.
Another note, individual buyers, instead of investors, individual buyers are coming away with a larger share of the all-cash deals. Persons looking to invest retirement money or proceeds from the sale of their homes are attracted to Florida real estate. International buyers, from Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina flush with cash, are buying properties and paying cash. Miami is very appealing to these buyers.
In New York, existing homes are in very short supply. Consequently, buyers who want to compete in the marketplace must strengthen their offers and help them standout by making them all-cash deals. The city also has a strong showing from international buyers.
Cash deals far less in 2012
In 2012, 31% of sales for existing homes across the nation consisted of all-cash transactions. The regions that have low level activity for short sale properties and foreclosures do not have as a high a rate for all-cash deals.
One year ago, Phoenix, Arizona was a prime destination for real estate investors looking for distressed properties and deep discounts. In 2012, 25% of all sales were made to cash-heavy investors. However, in June 2013 the percentage of foreclosures and short sales dropped to 13%. Most of the deeply-discounted homes have been dealt.
One Phoenix-based investor says that home prices are “too high.” A year ago, the investor said she could purchase a property for $80,000, invest $5,000 for improvements and flip the home for $120,000. This is no longer possible in an environment of escalating real estate prices. This person has started investing in Orlando, Florida. In Texas, Utah and New Mexico, all-cash deals are very rare.