Cash Money: Marin Home Buyers Paying Up Front

A record number of California condos and houses were purchased without mortgages in 2012.

The number of home bought outright with cash in Marin County more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, a real estate information service reported.

Statewide, a record number of condos and single-family houses were purchased without a mortgage in 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

“It’s clear that a lot of today’s housing market recovery is being fueled by people putting their own money into homes,” DataQuick president John Walsh said in a statement. “Some cash buying is part of a normal housing market, but we’re at twice that normal rate. A lot of buyers are chasing what they view as the deal of a lifetime.”

Across California, one-third of the 447,573 homes were sold in the state were bought without mortgage financing in 2012.

In Marin County, 1,168 homes were purchased with cash in 2012. That figure was 758 the year prior.

Number of Homes Bought with Cash County 2011 2012 Percent Change Marin 758 1,168 54.1% Napa 354 490 38.4% San Mateo 1,694 1,948 15% Santa Clara 4,625 5,415 17.2% Santa Cruz 553 739 33.6% Sonoma 1,711 2,122 24% Source: DataQuick

A real estate agent told the LA Times that many of the buyers he worked with were young and wealthy who either received trust funds or were getting financial assistance from their parents.

“People feel that cash is safe in real estate and maybe not safe in the stock market or even sitting in a bank,” the real estate agent, Ed Kaminsky, said.

Statewide, cash buyers paid a median $205,000 in 2012, up 17.1 percent from $175,000 in 2011, according to DataQuick. A total of 145,797 condos and houses were purchased with cash, up from 125,812 cash sales in 2011, the prior record.

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