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In 2023, the trend of purchasing homes with cash continued to rise across various Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the United States, with particular regions outpacing the national average by a significant margin.  In looking at ATTOM’s 2023 Year-End Home Sales report, these top 10 MSAs with the highest percentage of cash sales in 2023 have demonstrated a marked preference for cash transactions, suggesting a robust investor presence, a competitive market for buyers, or possibly a response to tighter lending standards.

The national average for cash sales in 2023 was 38.0%, a steady increase from 33.5% in 2021 and 36.1% in 2022. This upward trend reflects a broader shift in the real estate market that could be attributed to several factors, including a post-pandemic economic recovery, and a significant influx of investors into the housing market.

Macon, GA, topped the list with an exceptional 61.5% of homes bought with cash in 2023, rising steadily from 53.2% in 2021. Naples, FL, followed closely with 58.9%, showing a significant jump from 51.7% in 2021. These figures are particularly noteworthy as they highlight the attractiveness of these locales for investors and those looking to secure properties without the complexities of financing.

Myrtle Beach, SC, and Youngstown, OH, also saw more than half of their real estate purchases made with cash, recording 56.3% and 55.1%, respectively. These areas have become hotspots for buyers seeking vacation homes, investment properties, or retirement residences.

Other MSAs with notable cash sales include Salisbury, MD (54.4%), Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ (52.9%), and Syracuse, NY (52.8%). The appeal of these regions may lie in their unique local economies, retirement communities, or perhaps their growing reputation as investment havens.

Florida’s Cape Coral-Fort Myers (52.2%) and Gainesville, GA (52.2%) continued to attract cash buyers, indicating a possible preference for the state’s tax-friendly policies and favorable climate. Prescott, AZ, rounded out the list with 51.5%, reinforcing Arizona’s position as a burgeoning market for cash-based property acquisitions.

Comparatively, these MSAs significantly outperformed the U.S. average, revealing a distinct pattern that may influence future market dynamics. Cash purchases can accelerate transaction timelines, provide bargaining power to buyers, and bypass some of the uncertainty associated with mortgage approvals.

The data from these MSAs can serve as a bellwether for real estate professionals, investors, and policymakers. As the market continues to evolve, stakeholders will be watching these trends closely to anticipate shifts in demand, assess the impact of economic policies on real estate, and understand the evolving preferences of homebuyers in a post-pandemic landscape.

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