May 15, 2024 - News

Florida a national leader in cash-only home sales

Illustration of a wave of money overtaking a house.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cash is king in the housing market, and Florida wears the crown.

  • New data from Redfin shows that over one-third of home purchases in the U.S. are made in cash — which is much more common here than in other states.

Why it matters: Rich people can adapt to this pricey market more easily than typical buyers needing a loan.

By the numbers: Five of the 10 metro areas with the highest percentage of cash home purchases are in Florida, with Jacksonville ranked first at 54.4%.

  • West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami ranked second, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
  • Tampa Bay ranked eighth at 42.8% — well above the national average of 34.5%. Its median down payment is $39,702.
Line chart showing that the share of home purchases made with cash in the Tampa Bay metro area changed from 41.7% in January 2011 to 38% in January 2020 and dropped to 28.4% in April 2020. In February 2024, the share was 42.8% 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

What they're saying: Those winning in this economy treat homes like savings accounts, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather says.

  • It's a relatively safe place to store your cash, and you can always borrow against the home if need to tap into it.

Between the lines: All-cash offers typically come from investors, as most buyers lack the financial means to make them.

  • Investors own 27,000 homes across the Tampa Bay area.
  • That's not to say investors make all these transactions. Fairweather says there's a financial benefit to not taking on an interest in this environment.

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

  • "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 told Axios.
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