In these financially uncertain times in the housing market, all-cash sales are attractive offers to homesellers, but come with a condition–they usually must settle for less. In a typical housing market, if your home receives multiple offers (from prospective cash-carrying and/or those pre-approved for a loan), you will accept the highest bid. But in this current market, mortgages can be hard to come by, and sellers often will take less in order to have the deal go through.
The outcome: lowering prices despite fewer listings and rising demand. According to the Star Tribune’s article below, the increased amount of cash offers is offsetting other postive trends that, if there weren’t these cash offers, should lead to higher prices.
This all-cash trend is especially prevalent in distressed sales, where investors are the main buyers, and who typically deal with cash as it is. Short sales and foreclosures accounted for 42% of active listings last month, on average in metro areas. Read more about what the Star Tribune has to say on this topic in their article below:
In today’s topsy-turvy housing market, cash rules
Financing uncertainties make those cash offers alluring, but sellers often must settle for less money to guarantee a deal.
When Chris and Diane Finney decided to buy a bank-owned condo in St. Paul, they knew there would be competition.
Their strategy? Offer less — but offer cash.
While others said they would pay more, they needed to finance the deal. The bank took less and took the cash.
“We were in the driver’s seat,” Chris Finney said.
In a normal housing market, multiple bids usually lead to higher home prices, and the highest bid wins. But when credit markets are tighter and appraisals are often lower, many sellers will take less to be sure that the deal will get done.
“If I get five offers on a property and the cash offer is darned close to being one of those top offers, I’d take the cash offer any day,” said Marshall Saunders, owner/broker at Re/Max Results.
In December, 33 percent of all U.S. home sales were cash deals — a record since the downturn started in 2006, according to Campbell Survey and Inside Mortgage Finance. As a result, home prices can’t gain much traction because many sellers won’t necessarily accept the highest offer.
For most home buyers, it’s confounding to be rejected because they are financing the deal. For the housing market, it means more downward pressure on prices despite tight supplies and rising demand.
“It’s a real sign of what’s going on,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. “All things being equal, cash wins.”
The volume of cash deals is offsetting other positive trends in the market that should be leading to higher prices. The number of houses on the market has fallen to an eight-year low, and sales are up double digits. At the same time, home prices continue to fall.
At least a third of all homes sales last year involved an investor, Cecala said, and they often pay cash…
Read more of this article from the Star Tribune: “In today’s topsy-turvy housing market, cash rules.”