People often ask if we see a lot of cash transactions on houses so I thought I'd take a look and see how often it occurs. According to the MLS, so far in 2014 of the 409 residential sales 181 of those were cash deals compared to 159 for the first six months of 2013. That means 44 percent of sales are in good old greenbacks. And just so you don't get visions of some guy with Tommy Bahama shorts, a Panama hat, and sunglasses driving up in a Caddy and coming in with a big suitcase of $100 bills to buy a waterfront, 110 of those sales were for properties under $250,000. Just 37 were for waterfront properties with 6 of those being in excess of $1 million.
Not everyone has a bag of money under their bed. Conventional financing accounted for 161 or 39 percent of the transactions this year. That compares to 197 or 44 percent of the sales in the first half of 2013. FHA, Rural Development, VA type loans were used in 61 (14 percent) of the transactions this year compared to 81 (18 percent) times in the same period last year. I get a call every now and then from someone looking for a seller to do owner financing. Seller financing just doesn't happen a lot. In fact, it happened only once so far this year and just three times all of last year. Rehab type loans are a little tough to get so there were only two of those in the first half of this year and last.
According to the MLS, there were 66 bank owned sales so far this year compared to 88 bank owned in the first six months of 2013. So it seems like the bank owned properties are becoming fewer, but still too many!
Condo sales are down a tiny bit so far this year with 86 sales compared 89 in the first half of 2013. Cash accounted for 49 of those sales this year and 44 sales last year. Buyers used conventional financing on 31 sales this year and 41 in the first half of 2013. Because of the strict government regulations, FHA loans only accounted for 5 transactions this year and just 2 in the first half of last year.
Waterfront sales continue to be a big part of our market with 74 lakefront homes and 73 shared private water access homes selling in the first six month this year. For the first half of last year the numbers were 78 and 79 respectively.
In the communities covered by this Lakes Region Real Estate Market Report, there were 87 single family residential homes sold in June at an average price of $290,778. That compares to 98 sales last June at an average price of $332,836. For the first six months of the year there have been 409 transactions at an average sales price of $299,893 with a median price point of $204,100. That compares to 444 sales at an average of $275,314 and a median of $180,000 for the first six months of 2013. I guess this is the new normal folks. It certainly isn't stellar, but at least it is steady.
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of 7/20/14. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.