Statistics on latest home-buying trends

By Kelly Leighton | July 13, 2015 | 2 min. read

Who is buying what homes and why?

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently used data from the current American Housing Survey (AHS), which included nearly 14 million households that had purchased a home between 2011 and 2013, to assess who is buying houses and why.

The study found that the number of home buyers doubled from the previous study, which was published in 2011. Of those surveyed, 11 percent bought a brand new home, up from 8 percent in 2011, and 43 percent were purchasing their first home, down slightly from a high of 46 percent in 2011.

The median age for a first-time homebuyer was 32 years old, with an income of $62,987. Meanwhile, the median age for a new-home homebuyer was 40, with an income of $84,987.

Of the homes purchased, the median value was $168,000. NAHB reported that the median value of homes purchased has dropped since its peak in 2007, however, the rate of decline has slowed down. Between 2007 and 2009, during the recession, the median value dropped $35,000. However, between 2009 and 2011, the median value only dropped $10,000, and between 2011 and 2013, it was merely $2,000.

In 2009, 2011 and 2013, the median value of new homes purchased was roughly $230,000. The median size of a new home was 2,200 square feet, up 400 square feet from the median home size across the board.

As for first-time buyers, the median cost was $146,000, down only $1,000 from the median in 2011.

How many different homes did buyers look at? The median was 10 different homes before purchasing. Seventy-six percent of buyers chose their home for its size, with 74 percent choosing it for its room layout and design.

After deciding on a home, nearly 11 percent of buyers bought their home using cash or with a zero down payment loan. However, more than half of buyers used savings for a down payment, with 17 percent using sale of their current home to finance the purchase of their next home.

“The house itself” led 85 percent of buyers to choose a neighborhood, with 71 percent citing safety in their neighborhood decision.

What trends have you noticed lately?

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