New Home Buyer And Seller Survey Shows Tight Credit Standards Still Thwarting Some From Home Ownership

published by on November 6, 2013For Business

Dream of Home Ownership

The National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) published their latest annual survey of recent home buyers and sellers covering data on the demographics, housing characteristics and consumer experience for the real estate market.

The insights were gleaned from 8,700+ survey responses from buyers who purchased a home between July 2012 and June 2013.

Read on for some key highlights and takeaways. You can also watch leaders from NAR and the REALTOR® Magazine discuss the findings in this recap video.

Market Favors Married Couples (And Sellers)

Dream of Home Ownership








While the housing market generally maintained positive signs of recovery over the last two years, recent survey findings showed restrictive home financing standards are still having a lingering impact, particularly on singles and first-time home buyers, who both saw a drop in overall buyer market share this year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, was recently quoted on NAR’s site explaining the impact.

“Single home buyers have been suppressed for the past three years by restrictive mortgage lending standards, which favor dual-income households who are more likely to have higher credit scores,” Yun said.

According to NAR, 69 percent of recent buyers are married couples, 16 percent are single women, nine percent single men, seven percent unmarried couples and two percent other. In 2010, 58 percent of buyers were married, 20 percent were single women, 12 percent single men and seven percent unmarried couples.

The survey also showed fewer homes on the market contributed to buyers typically buying higher-priced homes.  This was good news for sellers, however, who saw a substantial drop in average selling time.

Internet Still King During Home Search

Not surprisingly, Internet usage during the home search process rose slightly, favored by 92 percent of buyers.

In fact, the Internet was used as the initial stepping stone for the home search process, with 42 percent of buyers kicking off their search by looking for properties online and 14 percent researching the buying process.

Characteristics of Home Buyers

*Sixty-six percent of recent buyers were married couples, the highest share in more than a decade.

* The typical buyer was 42-years-old, while the typical first time buyer was 41 and repeat buyer was 52.

* Fourteen percent of buyers purchased a multi-generational home

* The 2012 median household income of buyers was $83,300

* 60 percent cited the desire to own a home of their own as their primary reason for purchasing

Characteristics of Homes Purchased

* The typical home purchased was a 3 bed, 2 bath with 1,900 square feet and built in 1992

* Eighty percent purchased a detached single-family home

* New home purchases dragged at a share of 16 percent of all recent home purchases

* More than half of recent homes purchased were in a suburb or subdivision

* The median distance from the previous residence was 12 miles

Home Buying, Home Selling And Real Estate Professionals

* Buyers typically searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes

* Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate professional

* Nearly 90 percent of buyers financed their home purchase

* Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 97 percent of the listing price, and 47 percent reported reducing the price at least once

* The typical seller lived in their home for nine years, with nearly half trading up for a larger home

If you want the full scoop, the full report is available for purchase here.

What are your predictions for the future of real estate and your market? And how do you think that will affect your next move season?

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