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Cash Propels Property Sales

The cheapest and priciest properties are the big draw here.

By Susan Taylor Martin
Times Senior Correspondent


At both the low and high ends of Tampa Bay's real estate market, cash still talks. In March, a retired executive and his wife paid $2.55 million in cash for an Indian Shores condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The same month all but six of the 134 homes and condos that changed hands for $50,000 or less in Hillsborough County were cash deals.

Even as it becomes slightly easier to get a mortgage, cash continues to fuel the housing recovery Tampa Bay, a report released Thursday by the data provider Core Logic shows. In March, cash sales account for 51.5% of all bay area home sales, a 5.6 percentage point decrease in the same time last year, but far higher than the 34.6% national rate. So who's paying cash these days? "It's diverse," said Harvey Petty, a Keller Williams agent in Tampa. "It could be empty-nesters, it could be people coming down from out-of-state. It really is a set person defines a cash deal anymore." Petty was the listing agent on a two bedroom, 2 1/2 bath bungalow in Hyde Park, a south Tampa area in high demand, which sold March 31 for 1.01 million in cash, $11,000 more than the asking price. It was on the market for just one day before going under contract. Another south Tampa home that they listed is due to close this month for even more, also in cash.

At the lowest end of the market, the vast majority of sales in March were cash and ...

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