By Tabitha Mueller/The Nevada Independent

In Nevada’s housing market, cash is king.

It’s a message that Lorena Caldwell, a Las Vegas realtor who works primarily with low-income and working class home buyers, emphasizes whenever she sits down with someone searching for a house.

“Be ready for a hell ride,” she tells clients, explaining that without the need for a loan or mortgage, cash buyers can more quickly complete home sales with fewer steps than other homebuyers, giving them a leg up in the process.

Across the state, an increasing number of cash purchasers — including investors, investment pools, larger corporations and wealthy buyers from out of state — are driving up the pressure and squeezing out would-be purchasers reliant on loans and mortgages.

Between the first quarter of 2020 and 2021, cash buys increased by 41.6 percent in Washoe County, and rose 19.9 percent from 2015. In Southern Nevada, 31 percent of purchases in June were made with cash — a 6.1 percent increase in cash purchases since February 2021 and a 3.7 percent increase since June 2016.

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