2011 NAR Study of Home Buyers & Sellers

2011 NAR Study of Home Buyers & Sellers

NAR 2011 Survey

A new survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that home buyers are now staying within their means and more home sellers are using real estate agents to list and sell their homes.

Of the 5,708 buyers and sellers surveyed during the summer of 2011, most first time home buyers (60%) cited their reason for buying a home as the simple desire to own property of their own. Move-up buyers wanted a larger home (10%) or experienced a job-related move (10%) and 8% said they’d had a change in family situation or the affordability of homes.  The desire to be closer to family, friends or relatives was the reason giving by 7% of sellers for their move.

More than half of buyers considered foreclosures when searching for a home, but didn’t buy one. The reasons broke down this way; 29% couldn’t find a foreclosure that suited their taste or needs and 15% cited poor condition and a difficult process.

78% of recent home buyers said their home is a good investment, and 45% believe it’s better than stocks. According to survey results, most buyers believe in the long-term value of home ownership.

NAR mailed an eight-page questionnaire in July and August of 2011 to a national sample of 81,099 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2010 and June 2011, according to county records. It generated 5,708 usable responses; the adjusted response rate was 7.3%. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2011 with the exception of income data, which are for 2010. Because of rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions for some findings may not add up to 100%.

DC Metro Homebuyers

The buyer study shows:

Median age of first-time buyers was 31

Buyers’ median income was $62,400., (increased from $59,900 in the 2010 study)

The typical first-time buyer bought a 1,570 square foot home costing $155,000; the estimated median monthly mortgage principal and interest payment was $794.

The typical repeat buyer was 53 years old and earned $96,600., (greater than the $87,000. reported in 2010).

Repeat buyers bought a median 2,100 square foot home costing $219,500, with an estimated median payment of $1,006.

The median down payment for all home buyers was 11 percent, ranging from 5 percent for first-time buyers to 15 percent for repeat buyers.

The down payment size for both repeat buyers and first-time buyers was a full percentage point higher than in the 2010 study.

79% utilized savings for down payment while 26% were gifted with their down payment.  Only 75 reported taking a loan from a relative or friend. Stock or bond sales accounted for 9% of down payments and 8% accessed their 401(k) fund.

A whopping 94% of entry-level borrowers chose a fixed-rate mortgage.


See more buyer data and find out what sellers did in 2011


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Comment balloon 2 commentsThe Isaacs Team llc • November 12 2011 11:28AM



Great summary; it really helps when all parties are aware of trends in the market. Given the increasing complexities of today's real estate marketplace it's a great time to be a real estate professional service provider.


Posted by Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain (Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain) over 7 years ago

Thanks Steve, I agree. There were some interesting differences this year, disparities the NAR is tying to the loan market. I think we all have to filter this type of data locally and according to neighborhood to make it truly relevant, however.

Posted by The Isaacs Team llc, realestateinthedistrict.com over 7 years ago

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