Fewer All Cash Sales for Single Family Homes

Are cash sales in SF on the rise, on the decrease, or holding steady?

While we were out on tour last week, this discussion item popped up based on some observations at a recent sales meeting:

Which led us to do some digging in the MLS (but not that kind of digging) to see what the stats would say about cash sales over the past several months here in San Francisco. Last week over at SF Modern Condos, we wrote about how cash is holding steady in the SF condo market.

SF single family homes - All Cash sales in late 2013 and early 2014
SF single family homes – All Cash sales in late 2013 and early 2014

As you can see below, after spiking at close to 30% of the market earlier this year, the number of all cash deals does seem to be down more for single family homes when compared to condo sales.

Percentage of all cash sales - Single family homes
What percentage of sales for single family homes in SF are being bought in all cash purchases?

While there could be (and probably are) a variety of explanations for this phenomena, one of the things I’m curious about is if overseas buyers actually have a preference for condo buildings? While this flies in the face of the “conventional thinking” that says single family homes are a more valuable property type than condos, it makes sense if you think about it: If you aren’t going to be living in the residence on a daily basis, it is preferable to have a home in a building where there are people around to keep an eye on it for you.

Another possibility has to do with location – since single families aren’t really built in SF anymore, will people go for location preference over property type preference?

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