May 13, 2024 - Real Estate

Cash offers steadily climb in the Charlotte area

Homes on a sunny street.

Photo: Brianna Crane/Axios

All-cash home purchases are on the rise nationally and in the Charlotte area, according to new data from Redfin.

Why it matters: Wealthy buyers can adapt to the pricey market more easily than typical buyers needing a loan.

Line chart showing that the share of home purchases made with cash in the Charlotte metro area changed from 30.5% in January 2011 to 33.6% in January 2020 and dropped to 19.8% in April 2020. In February 2024, the share was 37.4% compared with 34.5% nationally.
Data: Redfin; Note: Includes home purchases with no mortgage loan information on the deed. National data calculated from the 40 of the most populous U.S. metro areas; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: Since January 2011, 37.4% of homes in the Charlotte area have been purchased with cash as of February 2024 — higher than the nationwide 34.5%, per Redfin data.

Context: Charlotte saw an increase in the number of homes bought in cash in the years after the Great Recession, followed by a spike after the pandemic.

What they're saying: Those winning in this economy treat homes like savings accounts, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather says. Homes are a relatively safe place to store your cash.

  • Plus, you can always borrow against the home if need to tap into it.

Follow the money: Some of these all-cash purchases are investors, but certainly not all. The South, for instance, is a popular migration destination, Fairweather says.

  • People from high-cost cities like Boston can sell their pricey homes and use the profits to purchase a house in cities like Charlotte with all cash.
  • All-cash offers are attractive to sellers, and there's the financial benefit of not taking on interest in this environment, Fairweather says.

The big picture: Mortgaged home sales are down year over year, per the report. Lack of affordability has pushed would-be first-time buyers to the sidelines.

The bottom line: "You have to be a high-income earner/dual household" to buy in this market, North Carolina agent and first-time buyer specialist Jeff Clay tells Axios.

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