WaPo: Lexington had 5th highest increase in rate of all-cash home buys between 2017 and 2022

Lexington, Ky.–The Washington Post reported Thursday that Lexington had the US’s 5th highest increase in the rate of all-cash home purchases between 2017 and 2022. The rankings were compiled as part of a nationwide study on the rise of all-cash home purchases. 28% of Lexington-Fayette purchases were all-cash buys in 2017, increasing to 52% in 2022.

“Retirees, buyers who relocated using home equity proceeds, foreign buyers, investors and high-wealth individuals” accounted for the increase, often outbidding individual buyers who needed a traditional mortgage to fund their home purchase, according to the report.

Lexington had the nation’s 5th highest increase in rate of all-cash home buys between 2017 and 2022. (Washington Post)

The Post report also offers data on the percentage of all cash buys broken down by zip code. Lexington’s 40508, the home NoLi CDC‘s York Street and Greyline Station, saw the highest rate of all-cash purchases at 65% in 2022. 40507 came in a close second at 64%. The data reinforces past evidence that has shown housing ownership in Lexington, and especially on the Northside, is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of wealthy investors and LLCs.

Share of homes bought with all cash. (Washington Post)

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at National Association of Realtors, told The Post the new trend is a potential red flag for the fundamentals of the housing market.

Last year, nearly a third of U.S. homes were purchased with cash,according to data provided by the realty company Redfin. That’s an 8 percent increase from 2021, continuing a trend that started during the pandemic. The share of homes bought with cash is now at levels not seen since 2014, when the housing market was on the rebound after the foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession.

The rise of all-cash buys comes at a time when the average home buyer is increasingly likely to be White, wealthy and older and the proportion of first-time buyers is at its lowest in more than 40 years.

“Only the wealthy are essentially buying homes,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at National Association of Realtors. “If this trend was to continue, that means something fundamentally is wrong with society.”

See how many all-cash buyers snagged houses in your neighborhood, Washington Post

Check out the full Washington Post article by Emmanuel Martinez, Kevin Schaul and Hamza Shaban here.

Top photo: Belt Line Avenue on Lexington’s Northside. The avenue’s 40508 zip code has seen an explosion in outside investment in recent years. (The Lexington Times)