MANATEE--Cash is proving to be king in Bradenton.
The Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port metropolitan area has the fourth highest percentage of all-cash home purchases in June across the nation, according to a new U.S. Residential Sales Report by RealtyTrac.
Fifty-nine percent of all home sales in the metro area were cash sales, according to the report.
Cape Coral-Fort Myers topped the list at 70 percent of sales with all-cash, according to RealtyTrac, followed by Miami at 64 percent, Las Vegas at 62 percent, then Sarasota, and Tampa at 58 percent, rounded out by Detroit at 56 percent.
The local area's high national ranking doesn't surprise Realtor Peter Crowley, broker and co-owner of Re/Max Alliance Group with offices in Bradenton and Sarasota.
"Just from the standpoint that you do have a strong mix of both investor purchases as well as second-home purchases that are many times using cash either because they have available cash and feel best to put it toward a home, or in many cases from a lending standpoint, it's harder to finance those purchases," Crowley said.
The cash purchasers are proving to be a mix of European and American home buyers along with investment companies, he added.
"It's not just $150,000 and below either," Crowley added. "There are people spending significant amounts of money and paying cash."
Nationally, institutional in
vestor purchases made up 9 percent of all residential sales in June, up from 8 percent in May, but a drop from the 10 percent in June 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Georgia led all states in that category with 23 percent; Florida is tied for fifth with North Carolina at 12 percent.
"The U.S. housing market is slowly but surely moving toward a more normalized and sustainable pattern after a flurry of institutional and cash buyers flocked to residential real estate last year, pushing up prices and picking clean the best inventory available in many areas," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Rising home values should continue to unlock more non-distressed inventory while also pricing institutional investors out of more markets, which, combined with rising interest rates, will cool off the pace of price appreciation."
Crowley said his company's numbers have been much higher than the 59 percent in the metro area. Manatee County's cash sales are also strong during May.
In May, 52 percent of sales were all-cash, according to the Manatee Association of Realtors, which was a 40 percent improvement over a year ago. June numbers for Manatee County were not immediately available by the association.
If buyers can save the money and make an offer, they'll have a better chance sealing the deal, Crowley said.
"In this environment, as competitive as it is, certainly the cash offer will more than likely prevail just because there are now financing contingences in that circumstance, so there is less opportunity for a deal to fall through with the cash offer," he said.
Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck-