Cash no longer king in Tampa Bay homes sales

This photo shows a waterfront home for sale in Clearwater last year. As Tampa area home prices continue to rise, the percentage of houses purchased in cash has dropped from more than half of all sales to less than a third.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times, 2017]
This photo shows a waterfront home for sale in Clearwater last year. As Tampa area home prices continue to rise, the percentage of houses purchased in cash has dropped from more than half of all sales to less than a third. [SCOTT KEELER | Times, 2017]
Published February 27
Updated February 27

As Tampa Bay home prices continue to rise, the percentage of houses purchased in cash has dropped from more than half of all sales to less than a third.

In January, cash sales accounted for 30.3 percent of single family home purchases, down 3.8 percent from the same month a year earlier. Last year, 25 percent of houses sold for cash, a 12.5 percent dip from 2016, according to Florida Realtors.

Investors paying cash helped keep the Tampa Bay market afloat after the housing crash. In January 2013, cash purchases accounted for 53.3 percent of all single family home sales, many of them foreclosures.

In recent years, though, a combination of low interest rates and rising prices have led to more buyers financing their homes. In 2017, single family home prices rose 11 percent. In January they jumped 11.3 percent compared to the same month a year earlier, hitting a median sale price of $217,000.

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