Cash remains king for homebuyers in Southwest Florida.
The Sarasota-Manatee area in March ranked fourth among the 100 largest U.S. metro areas for its share of cash buyers, according to a report released Thursday by data provider CoreLogic.
Cash sales accounted for 51.6 percent of all home deals in the two counties, CoreLogic said, in line with an earlier report by analyst RealtyTrac that showed no-loan buying was responsible for 53.4 percent of all local residential real estate transactions during the first quarter of 2016. The share of local cash sales was down from 58.6 percent in March 2015, CoreLogic said.
Cash buyers have dominated the local real estate market for several years, even leading the nation for the top share at one point last year. They are often able to strike quicker deals, elbowing aside buyers who need financing as investors buy homes at discount prices and in less than top condition to fix up and rent or flip.
Florida ranked third in the nation with a cash sales share of 45.9 percent, CoreLogic said, which was down from 51.4 percent.Both Sarasota-Manatee and the state were well ahead of the national rate of 33 percent, which fell from 35.4 percent over the year.
For the first three months of 2016, the cash-sales share averaged 34.7 percent nationwide, the lowest start to any year since 2008.
“The cash-sales share peaked in January 2011, when cash transactions accounted for 46.6 percent of total home sales nationally,” CoreLogic said. “Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent. “If the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in March 2016, the share should hit 25 percent by mid-2018,” the company said.
Alabama posted the highest cash-sales share at 49.8 percent, followed by New York at 47.5 percent.
Florida had four cities in the top five. The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach area posted the nation’s second-highest share of cash sales at 54.4 percent. Cape Coral-Fort Myers was third at 52.6 percent, and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall was fifth at 51.4 percent.
Philadelphia was highest at 55.7 percent. Syracuse was lowest at 11.7 percent.