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2008 Home Buyer and Seller Survey Results

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 at 12:49am.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its annual consumer survey for home buyers and home sellers today. The results were generated from 10,053 usable responses NAR received from a national sample of 133,000 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2007 and June 2008. Here are what we consider to be some important highlights from the results:

Home Buyers
  • The number of first-time buyers continues to rise. They made 41% of the transactions, up from 39% in 2007 and 36% in 2006. Their median age was 30 and their median income was $60,600. The typical first-time buyer purchased a home costing $165,000 and plans to stay in that home for 10 years. Their median home down payment was 4% and 92% chose to use a fixed rate mortgage home loan to finance their purchase.
  • The median age of a repeat buyer was 47 and their median income was $88,200. The typical repeat buyer purchased a home costing $236,000 and plans to stay in that home for 10 years. Repeat buyers made a median down payment of 15%  and 10% of them paid cash for their property.
  • 61% of buyers were married couples, 20% single women, 10% single men, 7% unmarried couples and 2% other.
  • Buyers searched for their home for an average of 10 weeks and viewed at least 10 properties prior to purchasing.
  • 78% of buyers purchased a detached single-family home, 9% a condominium, 8% a townhouse or rowhouse, and 5% some other kind of housing.
  • The percentage of buyers who purchased homes in foreclosure jumped to 6% in the 2008. Another 38% considered purchasing a foreclosed home but did not, mainly because they could not find a suitable property.
  • 55% of all properties 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. The median distance from the buyer's previous residence was 12 miles.
  • Buyers most commonly started their property search process online and then contacted a real estate agent. The top four resources in searching for a home were: 87% used the Internet, 85% used a real estate agent, 62% used yard signs and 48% attended open houses.
Home Sellers
  • The median age of home sellers was 47 and their median income was $91,000. Three-quarters were married couples and had been in their home for six years.
  • The typical property was on the market for an average of eight weeks and sold for 96% of the listing price.
  • 42% of home sellers offered incentives to attract buyers, such as loan closing cost help or home warranty policies.
  • 52% of home sellers were trading up to a larger home, 22% were downsizing. They moved a median distance of 19 miles from their current home.
  • 81% of home sellers used a full-service brokerage firm, 9% chose limited services or discount brokerages, and 9% used minimal service companies.
  • The level of for-sale-by-owner transactions was 13%, up slightly from a record low market share of 12% in both 2007 and 2006.

We hope you find some of these results as interesting as we did.

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4 Responses to "2008 Home Buyer and Seller Survey Results"

Suzanne Gantner wrote:
Very compelling numbers. In Austin/Central Texas, these numbers really apply across the board. Over 50% of my buyers last year were first time home buyers. Right now, I am seeing more 1st time homeowners than ever. Bring em on!!

Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 at 3:04pm.

Todd Covington wrote:
I really like the statistic where 92% use a fixed mortgage. I wish it were higher but 92% is not bad. First time home buyers are also a big portion of the market here in beaufort South Carolina.

Posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2009 at 4:12pm.

Daphne Lacey wrote:
I like these numbers...especially that 81% of sellers used full service brokerages. Good news!!

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2009 at 5:50pm.

Jim Gilbert wrote:
It will be interesting to see how much the percentage of first time home buyers rises in 2009 with the federal tax credit. I just wish that it was available to any home buyer.

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 10:52pm.

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