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NAR Reports

What home buyers are snapping up in 2016

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) Sales of which have fallen more – condo sales or detached homes? Are populations flocking to or fleeing from urban areas? Find out in this year’s report.

home buyers


This summer, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed 5,465 home buyers and sellers for the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The study shows that in the past five years, affordability has tightened, and the time spent home shopping has fallen.

But what exactly are people buying this year? Are people moving to the ‘burbs or to urban areas? Let’s dig a little bit deeper.

The median price hit $227,700

The median price of homes purchased in 2016 was $227,700 and buyers paid an average 98 percent of asking price.

The median size of homes purchased was 1,900 square foot and built in 1991. The average home purchased remains a three bedroom, two bathroom house and the median distance is 12 miles (unchanged from five years ago).

While 86 percent of homes purchased were existing homes, 14 percent of buyers snapped up new homes. Fully 11 percent of buyers purchased multi-generational housing (for aging parents or children over 18 staying home) for cost savings.

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Condo sales continue to slide (vs. 2011)

  • 83 percent purchased a detached, single-family home (way up from 77 percent in 2011).
  • Condo sales have steadily decreased from 11 percent in 2007 to 4.0 percent in 2016.
  • 7.0 percent purchased a townhouse or row house (down from 8.0 percent five years ago).
  • The median down payment was 10 percent (down from 11 percent).
  • The median down payment for first time buyers was 6.0 percent (up from 5.0 percent).
  • The median down payment for repeat buyers was 14 percent (down from 15 percent).
  • 53 percent of homes purchased were in the suburbs (up from 51 percent).
  • 14 percent of homes purchased were in urban areas (down from 18 percent).
  • 16 percent of homes purchased were in a small town (down from 18 percent).
  • 14 percent of homes purchased were in a rural area (up from 11 percent).
  • 3.0 percent of homes purchased were in a resort area (unchanged).

The takeaway

If you’re marketing to buyers, knowing what the market demands is necessary. While trends locally are still the most relevant to any broker or agent’s career, knowing the national trends can help pinpoint adjustments that should be made locally, or affirm decisions already being made.

The practice of real estate is changing given these rapidly altered circumstances surrounding home buyers and sellers, and it is important to be informed!

Click here for hundreds of other stats from this report.


Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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