The profile of first time home buyers is changing. For example, single women now represent 21% of first time home owners. The real estate industry publishes statistics such as the National Association of Real Estate Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2008. This report provides insight into home buyers, to help Realtors working with them understand how they can provide better service throughout the buying process.
Technology is one of the changes highlighted in this report. In the past, Realtors with access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) controlled the buying process, today 32% of home buyers are finding their homes online. This equals the 33% of buyers who found their home through their real estate agent.
These housing statistics reflect not only home buyer trends but also shifts in the US population. If you live in a southern, border state you're more aware of immigration trends because you see changes every day. Those living in northern states see these changes sporadically when immigration concerns make national headlines. What is striking here is how changes in California and similar states, are affecting overall US trends.
First Time Home Owners
- Number of first-time buyers rose 5% from 2006, helping to reduce excess inventory.
- Median age of first-time buyers is 30, with median income of $60,600.
- Average home price paid by first time buyers was $165,000.
- First-time buyers expect to stay in their home for 10 years, up from seven years. This shift was also true for repeat buyers although sellers averaged 6 years in their homes.
Who are the Buyers?
- 61% married couples, 21% single women, 10% single men, 7% unmarried couples, 2% other.
- 26% are non-white, 9% were born outside the US, and 4% speak a language other than English.
- Repeat buyers 47 years old, income of $88,200; 15% of buyers own two or more homes.
- 78% of respondents purchased a detached single-family home, 9% a condo, 8% a townhouse or row house, and 5% some other kind of housing.
- 55% of all homes purchased were in a suburb or subdivision, 17% were in an urban area, 16% in a small town, 10% in a rural area and 2% in a resort or recreation area.
What Factors Affected the Purchase?
- 41% of buyers said commuting costs were a very important factor; 39% percent said transportation costs were somewhat important.
- Environmentally friendly features were importance to 90% of buyers.
- 90% view their home a good investment; almost half feel it's a better investment than stocks.
- 52% of sellers were trading up to a larger home, while 22 percent were downsizing.