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Almost 1/3 of homes are now purchased in cash: what that means for buyers

Almost a third of all home purchases in the US are now cash deals, with some buyers skipping financing to avoid the rising cost of mortgage rates. Financed buyers may still find opportunities, though, as home prices begin to cool and competition slows.

CL

Chelsea Levinson, JD

9/29/2022 · 3 min read

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Key takeaways

  • Of US homes purchased in July 2022, nearly a third (31.4%) were bought in all-cash, up from 27.5% a year prior. 

  • Cash sales may be on the rise as buyers look to avoid the cost of climbing mortgage rates.

  • Even as cash sales increase, there may be more opportunities for buyers using financing, too. 

  • Some cities have significantly higher proportions of cash buyers than others.

If you’ve been trying to buy a home for a while, you’ve probably heard that cash is king in real estate. But did you know that despite the housing market cooling, cash offers are on the rise? In July 2022, nearly one third (31.4%) of homes purchased in the US were bought in cash, compared with 27.5% the year prior.

But why's cash on the rise, and what does that mean for buyers? Let’s jump into the details.

Cash buyer motivations may shift

Back in the hot housing market of 2021, competition was everything. And buyers with all-cash often had a distinct edge. In 2022, market competition has cooled off considerably, yet more homes are purchased in cash today than a year ago. 

So why are buyers still using cash when they don’t have as much competition? With mortgage rates doubling to over 6% and home prices beginning to cool, some buyers are skipping financing to pay cash instead — and potentially saving thousands on lender fees and interest rates in the process. 

Financed buyers can still find opportunities

Just because there are more cash buyers in the market doesn’t necessarily mean financed buyers are out of luck. There’s also less competition for homes overall, which has allowed some financed buyers to finally win homes after months of being outbid. More buyers are using FHA and USDA loans, which may indicate that some sellers are more willing to accept lower down payments today than they were a year ago. 

If you can still qualify for a mortgage and buy a home within your budget, now could still be a good time to get your foot in the door of homeownership. 

Some cities see more cash deals than others

Keep in mind that some cities have higher proportions of cash buyers. For example, if you’re house hunting in Long Island, NY, where 66.5% of deals are all-cash, you’re probably more likely to run into cash competition. Contrast that to Oakland, California, where 15.1% of deals are done in cash, and it’s much more common for buyers to use financing. 

It can be a good idea to get some insight from a qualified professional, like a real estate agent, who can tell you how many cash deals are typically in your market, and how you can best position yourself for bidding success. 

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

CL

Chelsea Levinson, JDAuthor

Chelsea Levinson, JD, is an award-winning content creator with expertise in real estate, mortgage, and personal finance. She has written for top real estate publications like HomeLight and Bigger Pockets, and has created content for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Bank of America, Vox, Comcast, AOL, State Farm Insurance, PBS, Delta Air Lines, Huffington Post, H&R Block and more. When she's not writing, you can find her fixing up her cabin in the Catskills.

JG

Jena GreeneEditor

Jena Greene is the Managing Editor at Opendoor. She covers real estate, personal finance, money management, and market best practices. Jena is passionate about empowering people to find their dream homes and making the home-buying process a delightful one.