All-cash buyers pump up the local market

Cash is king in the real estate market throughout Southern California in general and in Orange County in particular, where thanks to falling home prices, more people with the means seem interested in plunking down a lump sum and getting a home free and clear.

But many of these buyers aren’t just people in search of the American Dream in a field of falling home prices. They are cash-bearing investors looking to buy, and often flip, properties.

And a large number of these buyers may be foreign investors banking on an eventual rebound and the ebb and tide of the greenback, local market watchers say.

 The upside is these buyers may be giving the languishing market a small boost. The downside is they are out-competing the traditional buyers who wish to test the market, experts say.

All-cash buyers in a down market looking for foreclosed or real-estate-owned, or REO, properties on the cheap aren’t new market fundamentals, but indications are the trend is gaining momentum and the type of investors coming into the market with all-cash is broadening.

“Last year, 28% of all sales in Orange County were for all-cash,” said Gary Watts of Impact Real Estate in Mission Viejo. “Last month, in all of Southern California, the all-cash sales represented 26% of purchases…”

Read the rest of this article from Don Jergler at the Daily Pilot here: Jergler: All-cash buyers pump up the market, but may hurt other buyers.

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  1. Though I suspect most areas are experiencing much the same, particularly investors snatching up REO properties, there is a downside. With prices and interest rates at such low levels that local folks who had previously been priced out of the market are now qualifying to buy. Unfortunately, they’re often beaten out by the cash investors.

  2. All cash buyers are great for helping sustain a price floor to home values, but they are at risk of being able to flip to traditional buyers who are beholden to mortgage markets to afford housing. Carrying costs and other risks to all cash investors need to be adequately compensated by a healthy traditional buyer market. Hopefully credit markets maintain relatively low rates for some time, and access to debt isn’t significantly impaired.

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