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Why home sellers sold in 2011, what they moved to and why – report



A row of real estate sale signs in Columbia Heights, D.C., photo by Mr. T in DC.

Study results show a shifting seller demographic

The 2011 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers recently surveyed 5,708 home buyers and sellers and reports that buyers are now more mature, higher income, often married couples as lending tightened this year in the down economy, which means those that were selling their homes also shifted this year.

Home sellers in 2011 are also older, richer and almost exclusively white, according to the trade association report.

Home sellers’ situations

Most repeat buyers (68 percent) report that their home selling situation is that they had already sold their previous home with 13 percent saying they don’t intend on selling their previous home, rather keeping it, and 7 percent say they have a home that has not sold and is currently vacant, with the remaining 7 percent saying they have a home that has not sold and are renting it to others.

Two in three recent home sellers are selling a home for the first time, a large portion of the home seller demographic in America.

Sellers with unsold homes are more concentrated in the South and the volume of unsold homes in the South that are being rented out are larger than the volume of vacant and sold homes. In the Northeast, more homes are sold than are vacant or rented to others and in rural areas in all regions, there are more vacant homes than homes that are rented or homes sold.

Homes sold vs. homes purchased

Fully 66 percent of home sellers remain in the same state when they purchase their next home while 21 percent move to a different region with 14 percent moving to a different state within the same region.

The most frequent type of home sold in 2011 was a detached single-family home (79 percent) and the second most frequent type is townhomes or rowhouses.

The typical home sold in 2011 was a three bedroom, two bathroom house. Nearly half of all recent sellers purchased a home larger than the home they just sold, 31 percent bought a home roughly the same size and 23 percent downsized. Buying a larger home is most common in buyers under age 54 while buyers 55 to 64 bought homes the same size and those age 65 and older most frequently downsized.

Roughly half of all sellers purchased a home more expensive than what they just sold, one in four bought a home in the same price range and the remaining one in four bought a less expensive home. Buyers under 54 typically bought a more expensive home while buyers over 65 bought a less expensive home.

Home sellers typically bought a newer home than what they recently sold (60 percent) while 20 percent bought an older home and the remaining 20 percent purchased a home around the same age.

Why did sellers sell in 2011?

The top reason cited for selling a home were job relocation, and the home being too small, followed closely by wanting to be closer to friends and family, a neighborhood that has become less desirable, and change in family situation (divorce, etc.).

The motivation to sell varies widely by age with buyers under 44 citing the need for a larger home while sellers over 55 are most likely to move to be closer to friends and family. Sellers aged 45 to 54 are most likely to move for a job relocation or because the neighborhood has become less desirable.

The takeaway

Every two in three homes sold in 2011 were first time sellers and many sellers are renting out their homes as they didn’t sell, especially in the South. Most people don’t move far away and the majority of all sales in 2011 were detached single-family three bedroom, two bathroom homes. The reasons for selling varied wildly depending on age with job, friends and family and a neighborhood becoming less desirable as the top reasons across the board.

Brokerages that are aware of the national shifts in who is selling will likely change the direction of their marketing and communications plans for 2012.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.


Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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