One of the most terrifying trends in the current housing boom is the all-cash buyer, the person who can come in and plunk down millions on the spot for a home, beating out the mere mortals who need to take out a mortgage. The all-cash buyer is usually envisioned as a tech worker, but, according to new research from real estate brokerage Pacific Union and John Burns Real Estate Consulting, that's not generally the case. Only 12 percent of the 323 cash transactions their agents reported from February to June 2014 involved tech buyers, although that number jumped to 28 percent within San Francisco's borders.
The biggest all cash buyers were actually white-collar professionals like investment bankers or consultants who made up 42 percent of the group and those with "legacy" wealth (buyers with family money) or athletes at 40 percent. John Burns, who conducted the study, told the San Francisco Business Times that the all-cash buyers were generally older people about to retire. Two-thirds of the buyers were moving into their homes, not flipping them or using them as an investment, and only two percent were overseas buyers.
· Surprise! Don't Blame Tech Buyers--It's Aging Baby Boomers Who are Making All-Cash Buys [SF Business Times]