Understanding the soul of a home is important. But to a real estate agent’s mind, the foundation of all negotiations is market data.
Looking at statistics and demographics isn’t sexy. It isn’t heartfelt work. But understanding what kinds of buyers are out there is crucial to helping you sell your home fast. At Beverly-Hanks, we look at regional and national data from a variety of sources to build a profile of potential buyers.
The result: We sell your home fast.
There is, of course, as much nuance to home buyer characteristics as there are home buyers in our community. However, understanding how your potential buyers fit in each of these four categories will help guide your direction and expectations of the process. For this post, data was gleaned from the Beverly-Hanks 2017 EOY Quarterly Market Report (QMR), the National Association of REALTORSⓇ “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017” (NAR), and the Zillow Group “Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017” (Zillow).
Home Buyer Characteristics
Of all U.S. home buyers in 2017, 35% were first-time buyers (NAR). This is a relatively stable percentage, the same as the year before and up from 2015’s nearly all-time low of 32%. Locally, only 12% of buyers reported purchasing their first home last year.
NAR also reports a median home buyer age of 43, while Zillow’s median figure stands at 40. Locally, only 21% of buyers are age 40 or younger (QMR). However, it should be noted that 23% of the 2,167 responses received from the Beverly-Hanks post-transaction questionnaire did not report their age, so it is unknown whether local home buyers’ ages more closely align to national statistics.
Most buyers are shopping with a spouse. NAR reports that 66% of recent buyers were married couples, while Zillow reports that 70% of buyers are married or living with a partner. The primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own (NAR), most notably among millennials (buyers aged 36 or younger).
Home Purchase Characteristics
Since half of buyers are under 40, and two-thirds are couples, it’s no wonder that detached, single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recent buyers (83%, NAR and 80%, Zillow). Top considerations for their neighborhood choice include quality of the neighborhood (60%), convenience to job (43%), and overall affordability (40%, NAR).
Locally, 55% of homes are purchased as a primary residence, while 9% are purchased as second homes and 7% as investments (QMR). NAR reports that home buyers only moved a median of 12 miles to their new home. Locally, buyers who move to the area from out of town are likely from Florida (91), South Carolina (44), California (20), Texas (20), and Georgia (18).
The typical home purchased in 2017 was 1,900 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1991 (NAR). The median home price across the U.S. in 2017 was $227,700. In WNC, that price was slightly higher at $244,000.
The Home Search Process
Across all age groups, 79% of buyers use an online resource at some point in their home search, including 88% of millennials (Zillow). For 44% of buyers, online searching was the first step they took in the home buying process, even before finding an agent (NAR). Buyers are also becoming more social with their home search, seeking input from friends, relatives, and neighbors 46% of the time (Zillow).
The average shopper searched for 10 weeks (NAR), goes on four home tours and to two open houses (Zillow), and viewed a median of 10 homes (NAR). While most incorporate online research in their search, they tend to be hands-on at decision time, preferring to meet an agent in person and prioritizing private tours of homes led by a professional (Zillow).
Online searchers (skewing younger) typically extend their search by several weeks over non-internet searchers. This extra time could also be built in because many are also first-time buyers, unfamiliar with the home buying process. The typical non-internet buyer spent only four weeks searching and visited four homes (NAR). Among buyers who did use the internet, 89% found photos and 85% found detailed information about properties to be very useful (NAR).
Home Buying and Real Estate Professionals
74% of buyers hire a real estate agent (Zillow) and 88% purchased their home through an agent or broker last year (NAR). Nearly 70% of those only interviewed one real estate agent during their home search (NAR), but many did research before reaching out. 28% of buyers found their agent online, but 23% found him/her through a personal friend (Zillow). NAR reports that rate at an even higher 42%. Millennials were more likely to scrutinize agents, asking friends and family about their experiences with agents and reading online reviews at higher rates than other generations (Zillow).
50% of buyers most wanted an agent that would help them find the right home.
Learn More about Local Home Buyers
Each quarter, Beverly-Hanks shares insights we’ve gathered from the hundreds of people who buy and sell real estate with us. While the data represents a portion of the total transactions, it’s proven valuable for gaining a deeper understanding of the trends shaping our local real estate markets.
Read the latest Beverly-Hanks Quarterly Market Report now or contact your Beverly-Hanks agent today for more information about home buyers in Western North Carolina.