Cash buyers make up 23.4% of Chicago’s market

Percentage of homes purchased with cash, from Wall Street Journal

Almost a quarter of sales in Chicago last year were all-cash deals, according to Zillow. Chicago’s 23.4% share comes in slightly below the national trend (28%) and well below markets like Miami (54.2%), Las Vegas (45.9%), and Tampa (44.6%), but ahead of cities like San Diego (23.1%), San Francisco (20.4%), and Los Angeles (18.7%).

Cash deals are a sign of a tight lending environment, and typically rise as market conditions fall, says the Wall Street Journal. Cash buyers often can buy for 5% to 10% less than buyers with mortgages, since they can close quickly and aren’t subject to a bank’s whims, the article says.

Who are these cash buyers? WSJ’s story features a retired sales exec who purchased three condos in Miami Beach priced at $1.8 million, $1.2 million and $1 million (one for himself and his wife, one for his son, and one for “an older dog and guests”), by cashing out investments and selling a Lichtenstein painting and a Calder mobile.

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