Highlights from NAR’s 2011 Buyer Profile

The primary reason for buying a home, cited by 27% of recent buyers, was simply the desire to own their own home. Job change and relocation was 2nd, while the desire to be closer to family and friends was 3rd.

A detached, single-family home remains the primary choice for the majority (about 77%) of home buyers.

Choice of neighbourhood varies considerably, yet the top three factors influencing neighbourhood choice are:

  1. “Quality of Neighbourhood,
  2. Convenience to job, and
  3. Overall affordability of homes.”

89% of buyers purchased through a real estate salesperson or broker, the highest percentage in 10 years. Only 4% reported buying directly from the owner and 7% from a builder.

“About two-thirds of recent buyers only interviewed one agent before they found the agent they worked with.”

41% of buyers found their salesperson “through a referral from a friend or family member,” and 9% used an agent “they had used before….”

As with last year, “The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 12 homes.”

For 35%, the first buying step was to look for properties online, while 21% started by talking with a real estate professional. Internet usage in the search process dropped to 88% from 90%, due to a shift to “slightly older repeat buyers from younger first-time buyers.”

40% found their home through the internet and 35% found their home through their real estate person.

At 64%, the highest number of buyers since 2001 was married couples; while single female buyers dipped to 18%, the lowest since 2004.

95% of 1st time buyers and 82% of repeat buyers financed their purchase. Typical financing was about 89%.

46% of home buyers reported making sacrifices “such as reducing spending on luxury items, entertainment or clothing, in order to afford the home.”

To 23% of buyers, “the mortgage application and approval process was somewhat more difficult than expected” and to 16 percent “it was much more difficult….”

Source: National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2011 and Highlights from the New 2011 NAR Profile by Jessica Lautz.

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