Oct 23, 2023 - Real Estate

How common all-cash home sales are in the Boston area

Share of single-family homes bought with cash in the Boston area
Data: ATTOM; Note: Companies include LLCs, corporations and other entities. Individuals include personal trusts; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Cash buyers swooping up houses has become a common complaint around here since the pandemic sent the real estate market into a tizzy.

Yes, but: It's a trend line that actually goes back at least 15 years.

What's happening: Cash buyers made up 27.5% of Boston metro area home sales in 2022, compared with 21.6% in 2019, according to ATTOM, a real estate data firm.

  • Offers from individuals accounted for the majority of the cash deals in 2022, the data shows. Corporate investors made up the remainder.

Context: The median sale price in 2022 was $802,000.

Between the lines: Last year's share of all-cash deals was below the region's peak of 41.2% in 2011.

Several years after that recent record, the market attracted the scrutiny of the feds.

  • In 2018, the Treasury Department added Suffolk and Middlesex counties to a program that requires people who buy homes with cash through shell companies to disclose their names to the government, in hopes of curbing money laundering in luxury real estate, the Globe reported.
  • The Treasury is still monitoring these two counties, per the department's latest order.

The big picture: One in three U.S. homes sold last year was bought in cash, per ATTOM.

  • Nearly 10% of all homes sold went to investors, while a quarter were sold to families and individuals.

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