Wednesday, October 19, 2016

NAR Shares 5 Notable Nuggets from Buyer and Seller Survey's 35-Year History

The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was introduced thirty-five years ago by the National Association of Realtors®. It is the "longest-running series of national housing data evaluating the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers."

Here are five notable trends they shared:

  1. Participation from first-time buyers is depressed
  2. The internet is not replacing a real estate agent
  3. Buyers have bought slightly bigger, but the pace is currently at a standstill
  4. Down payments have trended down over time, but not in recent years
  5. The home search is taking longer; tight inventory has slowed the pace in past two years

My thoughts: 

  1. Here is Western Mass, we definitely see these trends to be true. First-time home buyers are finding it tough because of the amount of debt--especially student loan debt--they tend to carry. Student loan debt relief could play a role in helping this situation.
  2. The Internet is a great place to find information, but real estate agents continue to play a crucial role in the home buying--and selling--process. Not only are they local experts, the home buying and selling process involves many potential pitfalls for buyers and sellers. One of our roles is to stay on top of the details and help things run smoothly. One mistake could cost a buyer or seller thousands of dollars. And since the seller pays the entire commission, it only makes sense that a buyer would have some working for their best interest. 
  3. My experience has been the same. Some of my buyers are moving up to substantially larger homes, but many are making lateral moves to get their children into a particular school district, for employment purposes, or just a different community. 
  4. Low down payment programs have impacted this trend. It's important to talk to your lender to know what is available. A real estate agent can recommend a local lender to you if you're unsure where to go.
  5. My buyers and I certainly have tons of experience in this area. Because of fewer homes on the market, the search is taking longer. When I read the data from this report that said 10 weeks I thought, I wish. Some of my buyers spent over 25 weeks before finding what they were looking for. We started our search in Spring 2015, took a break for the winter, and then picked up again this spring. They are all in new homes now, but some did find that waiting made it harder because there were fewer houses on the market this spring than last. 
You can read the syndicated release with more details from this article here.

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