For most home buyers, the purchase of real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. Buyers purchase a home not only for the desire to own a home of their own, but also because of changes in jobs, family situations, and the need for a smaller or larger living area. This annual survey was conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® of recent home buyers.
Characteristics of Home Buyers
- First-time buyers made up 26% of purchasers, down from last year’s 34%. This was the lowest share of first-time buyers since data collection began.
- The typical first-time buyer was 36 years old this year, rising from 33 last year, with the typical repeat buyer age climbing to 59 years. Both are all-time highs.
- 61% of recent buyers were married couples, 17% were single females, 9% were single males, and 10% were unmarried couples. This is the highest share of unmarried couples recorded.
- Among first-time buyers, 18% of buyers were unmarried couples, and 5% were other household compositions. Both are the highest shares recorded.
- 14% of home buyers purchased a multigenerational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children or relatives over the age of 18 moving back home, and for cost-savings.
Characteristics of Homes Purchased
- 12% of buyers purchased a new home, and 88% of buyers purchased a previously-owned home.
- Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 41%. Buyers who purchased previously-owned homes were most often considering a better price at 31%.
- The most common type of home purchased was detached single-family homes at 79%, followed by mobile or manufactured houses at 8%.
- Senior-related housing held steady this year at 7% (for buyers over the age of 60), with 17% of buyers typically purchasing condos and 8% purchasing a townhouse or row house.
- The median distance between the home that recent buyers purchased and the home they moved from was 50 miles. This is a significant increase in distance moved, as the distance between 2018 and 2021 was a median of 15 miles.
See Our Post on Finding Homes for Sale Based on Desired Commute Time
- For buyers, 49% cited the quality of the neighborhood as the most important factor determining the location. Convenience to friends and family and overall affordability of homes were both cited at 37%.
- Buyers typically purchased their homes for 100% of the asking price, with 28% purchasing for more than the asking price.
- The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,800 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1986.
- Overall, buyers expected to live in their homes for a median of 15 years, while 28% said that they were never moving.
The Home Search Process
- Buyers typically searched for 10 weeks compared to 8 weeks according to statistics from 2020 and 2021. Buyers visited and looked at a median of five homes, and viewed four homes only online.
- Nearly all buyers used online tools in the search process at 96%.
- When asked where their internet searches were conducted, they typically conducted 60% of their search on a mobile device(s), and 34% on a desktop/laptop.
- 86% of recent buyers found their real estate agent to be a very or somewhat useful information source.
Why You Should Have an Exclusive Buyer Agent on Your House Hunting Team
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