All-Cash Home Buyers Hurt Values for Owner-Occupants

There's no denying that all-cash buyers are a force to reckon with in America's neighborhoods. All-cash buyers have come to account for roughly one-fourth of the housing market.

According the National Association of Realtors' most recent Realtors Confidence Index: as of March 2010, all-cash buys accounted for 27 percent of the market -- nearly double the percentage (15 percent) during the same month in 2009.

When it comes to deal-making, cash buyers have the advantage of no financing contingencies in their offers. That can trump regular borrowers, who might have frail loan commitments from battered and fickle lenders.

Cash buyers are very successful at snagging distressed and auctioned properties, where banks and builders selling homes are eager to offload money-losing property to sure-bet buyers.

But are all-cash buyers ultimately good for the communities they buy into?