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How Changing Demographics Are Impacting the Real Estate Industry Today

by Kim Shindle on

First-time buyers make up 33% of all homebuyers, continuing to be at a historically low point, according to NAR’s 2019 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers.

“We saw the peak of first-time buyers when the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit was offered in 2008,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, who spoke to Realtors® at NAR’s convention in San Francisco last month.

“We’re seeing changing dynamics in the industry today,” Lautz said. “There’s a drop in the marriage rate and it’s difficult for a single buyer to enter the market. And more unmarried couples are buying a home together, as well as roommates buying a house together.

“Birth rates are dropping and buyers are much less likely to have children,” she added. “Fifty-five percent of buyers used to have kids, now only 35% have children.”

“Fur babies are driving homebuyers’ decisions,” Lautz noted. “People are giving lots of money for their pets. We’re finding that single buyers want to be closer to dog parks and vets rather than schools.”

The median age that buyers are entering the market has also risen. “New homebuyers are stalling their entry into the market. The median age has risen to 33 years old,” she added.

Multi-generational homes are being more popular. “One in 10 buyers have purchased a multi-generational home, in order to take care of aging parents and because of children over the age of 18 years old moving back home and to save on costs.”

Owners are also staying in their homes longer. “Homeowners are staying in their homes for 10 years,” Lautz said. “It’s a hangover effect from the recession.”

Use of real estate agents is at a historical high. “Buyers want to work with agents. Eighty-nine percent of buyers used an agent or broker to buy,” she said. Ninety percent of buyers reported they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.

Sellers are also using real estate agents at historically high levels. “Eighty-nine percent of home sellers worked with an agent to sell their home.”

More details on NAR’s Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers are available online.


Jessica Lautz Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers
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