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Cash is king for Southwest Florida real estate
For Southwest Florida buyers, cash is king — and shows no signs of abandoning its throne.

At least three out of every five homes and condos in Southwest Florida are changing hands with no financing, something that would have seemed almost unthinkable during the boom years of easy credit.
Multiple Listing Service data show that particular ratio of cash buyers for the 12 months ended July 31 compares with just one out of six in 2006-07.
One reason is that loans are simply harder to come by in the post-recession world. Freshly wounded lenders are risk-averse and they are being extremely picky about whom they loan to.

But another factor is that buyers themselves have developed an aversion to debt.
"Everybody recognizes that excessive borrowing is what got us into this mess," said Kim Ogilvie, a luxury agent with Michael Saunders & Co. in Sarasota. "It's like we've still got a hangover and don't want to touch the stuff."
That sentiment reaches from the lowliest stratum of the Southwest Florida market — where hundreds of investors are at play — to luxury.

So far this year, Ogilvie's three highest sales on Siesta Key were all-cash deals: a $6 million sale at 6701 Peacock Road, a $5.9 million home at 625 Norsota Way and a $4.45 million sale at 8585 Midnight Pass Road.
"I actually can't remember the last time a buyer used a mortgage," Ogilvie said. "I'd say 95 percent of all my sales have been cash."
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