High Country Association of REALTORS News

Live the Dream STAT: Buying with cash at a high

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41% - Percentage of High Country properties sold in 2011 that were purchased with cash. That mark was just 34% in 2009.

Cash in real estate is becoming increasingly popular, and that may be a good sign. According to the Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance, 34 percent of home sales in January were paid with cash. The reasons are two-fold, according to some experts.

The advantage of coming with cash to a real estate transaction is that cash buyers don't have to worry about qualifying for the more stringent underwriting standards by lenders that have kept so many other buyers out of the market recently. They also have less concern about appraisals derailing a deal, another common problem plaguing many real estate markets.

There are some concerns though. Cash buyers, thanks to bargaining power, may be driving prices down. But in the long run they may aid the market, according to an NPR report.

"These cash buyers are mopping up inventory, and that's probably the most important thing that can happen right now," (Richard Green, a professor at the University of Southern California's Lusk Center for Real Estate) says. "You're not going to see a recovery in prices until inventories return to more normal levels."

And, Green says, inventories are starting to stabilize.

That makes this a great time to buy! Explore the opportunities to Live the Dream in the High Country of North Carolina.