Have you heard about the trend in cash buyers lately?  The National Association of Realtors reports a whopping 33 percent of all existing home sales are cash buyers.  With money in the bank making little interest, cash buyers seem to be taking advantage of the lower home prices expecting the future to bring higher property values.  



When asked about the benefits to using cash I used to be able to say sellers don't really care if its cash or financed as long as they get what they are looking for in purchase price.  It's all the same to sellers.  They just want the highest sales price for the their property.  I can't say that any longer.  



Shorter days to close and lower closing costs typically get cash buyers greater discounts on the their purchases.  Terms seem to talk now.  Let’s take a snapshot of our market and how our market compares to the nation on cash purchases.



30A Homes:



More than half the homes sold last month were cash sales.  The average list price for a home financed was $1.025M — actual average closed price was $959K.  The average list of a home purchased with cash was $842K — actual average closed price $779K.  Currently there are just over 500 homes available at an average list price of $1.3 million.



30A Condos:



Cash and financed purchases were nearly even in sales.  However, purchase prices were hugely different. 



Santa Rosa Beach/North of 98 Homes:



About 1/3 of the home sales were cash purchases.  List price of a financed purchase came in at $295K — actual sold price $289K.  List price of a cash purchase averaged at $270K and sold for an average of $257K.  Currently there are 137 homes available at an average list price of $469K. 



Destin/Miramar Beach (including Sandestin) Condos: 



Forty-seven units were sold last month using cash with an average list price of $273K and closing at $257K.  The remaining units financed average list price was $399K and sold for $370K. 804 units are available with an average list price of $522K.



Destin/Miramar Beach (including Sandestin) Homes:



Inventory was down again last month with just over 400 homes available. Cash sales made up about 25 percent of all closings last month.  Average purchase price was $843K — well over the average purchase price for a home that was financed.  There are 421 homes available at an average list price of $937K. 



Niceville Homes:



Cash sales aren't as prominent here (only about 10 percent) most likely due to the strong military presence.  The average cash sale came in at $188K while the average financed purchase came in at $245K.  Average list price for a home in Niceville is now coming in at  $353K — well over the average of cash or financed purchases.



Fort Walton Beach Homes:



Cash sales made up about 20 percent of closings this month with an average price of $127K.  Average homes financed came in at $177K. Currently there are just over 300 homes available with an average list price of $255K.



Fort Walton Beach Condos:



Seventy-five percent of all sales last month were cash sales.  With an average list price of $241K and an average closed price of $217K.  An average list price of $312K is what you can expect for the 260 units currently available.



Emerald Bay:



Of the three sales last month none were cash.  There are currently 10 active listings averaging at $636K with four homes currently under contract. Sales are showing to be strong in the subdivision. 



Seascape Villas:



Twenty-one units on the market are coming in at an average of $188K. There remain six pending listings and one cash sale. 



Ariel Dunes:



Twenty-three units are currently available with an average price of $343K. There were seven units under contract and five were closed last month.  The average close price was $258K.



Majestic Sun:



Not much on the market here with only eight active listings averaging at $568K.  June saw one closing at $430K, however, the pending units are averaging $304K.



Bonnie Hall is a broker associate with Emerald Sea Realty Group.  Bonnie obtained her real estate license in 2003 and has been resident of Santa Rosa Beach for more than 10 years.  Contact Bonnie at 850-240-9901 or visit  www.BNDestin.com