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NAR Reports

Detailed report on the characteristics of homes recently purchased



Home buyers prefer single-family detached homes, are avoiding renovations, and move within 14 miles of their last home, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Sizes and prices of homes purchased inched up from last year, and how long they expect to be in their home depends upon whether it is their first.

For 34 years, NAR has profiled buyers and sellers and evaluated the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans, and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers (owner-occupants). This has helped real estate professionals understand consumers and their motivations.

New vs. existing homes

New homes purchased this year accounted for 16 percent of the market, with previously owned homes made up for 84 percent. People typically sought out new homes to avoid renovations and plumbing/electricity problems, and those that bought existing homes cited considering a better price (than new) as their motivator.

New home buyers also like that they can customize features in their home (30 percent), and having the amenities of new home construction communities (17 percent).

Buyers who chose a previously owned home were considering a better price (32 percent), overall value (29 percent), and a home with more charm and character (19 percent).

What people are looking for

Detached single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recently buyers at 83 percent, followed by 7.0 percent of buyers choosing townhomes or row houses.

The report notes that “Townhomes continue to be more common among first-time home buyers, compared to repeat buyers. Single female and single male buyers were more likely to purchase a townhouse or condo than married couples and unmarried couples.”

Regarding neighborhood choice, NAR notes that factors remain consistent with last year: Quality of the neighborhood (59 percent), convenience to job (44 percent), and overall home affordability (38 percent) were the three most important factors to recent home buyers when choosing a neighborhood.

Recent buyers were only “somewhat concerned” with commuting costs and environmental features, but they did influence some decisions.

Sizes and prices on the rise

The average home recently purchased was built in 1991, has three bedrooms and two baths, is 1,900 sf (up slightly from last year). First-time buyers snagged smaller homes, averaging 1,620 sf, and repeat buyers averaged 2,020 sf.

Buyers typically purchased their homes for 98 percent of the asking price, and the median price increased to $220,000 among all buyers.

The median price for an new home was $277,000 and the median price for a previously owned home was $209,000.

Repeat buyers purchased homes that were a median of $246,400, where the first-time buyers purchased homes that were a median of $170,000.

The largest discount on homes was see in the Northeast where 15 percent of buyers paid less than 90 percent of the asking price for their homes.

“Different than last year, the most expensive price per square food was found in townhomes and row homes. The price per square foot in these homes was $130. The next most expensive was duplexes, apartments, and condos in a two to four unit building at $120 per square foot,” cites NAR.

Expected tenure in their home

First-time and repeat buyers are intending to stay in their homes for the same length of time as the previous year at 10 years and 15 years respectively.

NAR notes, “The youngest buyers between the ages of 18 ad 24 had the shortest expected tenure of just eight years, compared to buyers aged 45 and older who expect to stay in their homes for 15 years.”

Two in five buyers said that they would potentially move because of a life change, such as an addition to the family, marriage, children moving out, or retirement. Buyers between 18 and 24 were most likely to move because of a job change.

Surprisingly, households with no children were the most likely at 26 percent to say that they are never moving and that this is their forever home.


Jenna keeps the machine well-oiled as the Operations Coordinator at The American Genius and The Real Daily. She earned her degree in Spanish at the University of North Texas and when she isn't crossing things off her to-do list, she is finding her center in the clean and spacious aisles of Target or rereading Harry Potter for the billionth time.

NAR Reports

Home sales on the rise – don’t call it a comeback (okay, do)

(REAL ESTATE) Inventory levels continue to fall as prices rise, making for a competitive market. After a tough winter, February saw considerable gains in home sales.



Open floor house showing co-living opportunities.

For years, inventory levels have been sinking, and prices have been growing, making the home buying process increasingly complex and sometimes discouraging. But after two consecutive months of declining sales, existing-home sales made a comeback in February, rising 3.0 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales are now 1.1 percent higher than February of last year. #GoodNews

Although home sales in the Midwest and Northeast saw a dip in this period, the South and West regions skyrocketed, boosting the national numbers.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist noted that “The very healthy U.S. economy and labor market are creating a sizeable interest in buying a home in early 2018. However, even as seasonal inventory gains helped boost sales last month, home prices – especially in the West – shot up considerably. Affordability continues to be a pressing issue because new and existing housing supply is still severely subpar.”

Added Yun, “The unseasonably cold weather to start the year muted pending sales in the Northeast and Midwest in January and ultimately led to their sales retreat last month. Looking ahead, several markets in the Northeast will likely see even more temporary disruptions from the large winter storms that have occurred in March.”

Click to enlarge.

In February, the median home price rose to $241,700, a 5.9 percent increase from February 2017, and the 72nd straight month of annual gains. The average days on market fell to 37, down from 41 in January, and 45 last February. That’s what we call a competitive market.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall comments on the difficulty first-time buyers are seeing in this competitive market. “Realtors® in several markets note that entry-level homes for first-timers are hard to come by, which is contributing to their underperforming share of overall sales to start the year. Prospective buyers should start conversations with a Realtor® now on what they want in a new home. Even with the expected uptick in new listings in coming months, buyers in most markets will likely have to act fast on any available listing that checks all their boxes.”

Regional performance varied, with sales in the West outperforming all other regions. While sales fell in the Northeast by 12.3 percent, and dropped 2.4 percent in the Midwest, they skyrocketed 11.4 percent in the West, and 6.6 percent in the South.

february existing home sales

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NAR Reports

Existing home sales surged in October, what’s next?

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) Existing home sales rose in October despite continually tight inventory levels and rising home values.



starter homes debt existing home sales

Despite the challenges of ongoing political uncertainty, extremely tight inventory conditions, and home values that continue to rise, existing home sales rose 2.0 percent in October, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

This marks the strongest home sales pace since June, yet are 0.9 percent below October 2016. October’s average days on market was 34, down from 41 days on this month last year.

The median price has risen 5.5 percent in the last year to $247,000 with October marking the 68th consecutive month of annual increases. Nearly half of all homes on the market in October sold in under 30 days.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist said, “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”

Added Yun, “The residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still seen in parts of Texas and Florida. However, sales should completely bounce back to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year, as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.”

Regional performances varied with sales rising in the Northeast by 4.2 percent, in the West by 2.4 percent, the South by 1.9 percent, and 0.8 percent in the Midwest.

Prices also varied depending on region, with the median price in the West rising 7.8 percent above October 2016 (to $375,100), 6.6 percent in the Northeast (to $272,800), 7.1 percent in the Midwest (to $194,700), and 4.6 percent in the South (to $214,900).

Dr. Yun expects conditions to remain competitive through the winter, but housing is experiencing a tremendous hanging chad right now – what will politicians do to the tax deductions that incentivize homeownership in the first place?

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, says the pending tax reform legislation in both the House and Senate is a direct attack on homeowners and homeownership, with the result being a tax increase on millions of middle-class homeowners in both large and small communities throughout the U.S.

“Making changes to the mortgage interest deduction, eliminating or capping the deduction for state and local taxes and modifying the rules on capital gains exemptions poses serious harm to millions of homeowners and future buyers,” said Mendenhall. “With first-time buyers struggling to reach the market, Congress should not be creating disincentives to buy and sell a home. Furthermore, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt will raise future borrowing costs for our children and grandchildren.”

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NAR Reports

Sustained lull in signed contracts means pullback in home sales

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) Existing home sales aren’t looking super hot this month, but it’s not the bad news that you’re thinking – let’s discuss!



Existing home sales slide in June

Low supply has kept home sales muted, with existing home sales dipping 1.8 percent in the month of June, albeit 0.7 percent above June of 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Midwest region is the current bright spot as the only area sales actually rose during this period.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, says the previous three-month lull in contract activity translated to a pullback in existing sales in June.

“Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” said Yun.

He added, “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

There’s a silver lining

“The good news is,” observes Yun, “that sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite these persistent market challenges.”

The median price for an existing home rose 6.5 percent over the last year to $263,800, surpassing May as the new peak, and the 64th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Housing inventory declined 0.5 percent from the previous month, and 7.1 percent over the last year. Average days on market rose one day from May to 28 in June, which is down from 34 days in June 2016.

Supply and demand challenges

First time buyers were 32 percent of sales in June, down one percent from both in May and a year ago. Yun says “It’s shaping up to be another year of below average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” said Yun.

“Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year,” noted Yun.

Spicy sales in the Midwest

In the Midwest, sales rose 3.1 percent from May but remain unchanged from this time last year. The median price rose 7.7 percent in the last year to $213,000.

In the Northeast, existing home sales actually fell 2.6 percent, but are 1.3 percent above a year ago (the median price was $296,300, up 4.1 percent for the year).

The South saw a 4.7 percent dip in sales ((unchanged from a year ago) and the median price in the South was $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.

Sales in the West declined 0.8 percent but are 2.5 percent above June 2016. The median price in the West was $378,100, up 7.4 percent from June 2016.


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