Latest Trends - Oro Valley Real Estate
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Five key themes emerged from NAR’s annual survey of recent home buyers and sellers, ranging from what buyers are looking for in a house to what both buyers and sellers expect from a real estate agent.
Buyers, sellers turn to agents in record numbers.
The internet hasn’t replaced real estate professionals. Eighty-nine percent of buyers—a record high for the report—say they used an agent to purchase a home. On the seller side, the share of For Sale by Owner transactions hovers at 8%, on par with recent years.
Unmarried buyers are on the rise.
Young adults ages 25 to 34 make up a quarter of all home buyers, the largest share. Meanwhile, first-time buyers are getting older: The median age of this cohort rose to 33—the highest on record. The median age of first-time buyers in 1981 was 29. While most people who buy together still wait for marriage, unmarried buyers make up a growing share of the market, 9% compared with 8% a year ago. Married buyers made up 61% of the market. That’s down from 73% in 1981. Single female buyers made up 17% of the market, while the share of single male buyers was 9%.
Debt remains a hurdle to saving for a down payment.
More than a quarter of buyers—28%—say they delayed their home purchase because of debt. The median amount of time homeowners spent saving for a down payment was four years. Many buyers cited saving for a down payment as the most difficult step in the homebuying process, indicating that student loans, credit card debt, and car loans diminished their purchasing power. The median down payment on a home purchase is 12% for all buyers. Broken out, the median down payment is 6% for first-time buyers and 16% for repeat buyers.
Equity gains prove a boon to sellers.
Higher home prices have translated into faster appreciation for homeowners. Sellers this year sold their homes for a median of $60,000 more than they paid at the time of purchase, up from $55,500 a year ago. Sellers who owned their home for six to seven years reported a median $72,200 gain, while those who sold after 21 years of ownership saw a median gain of $162,000.
Inventory woes continue.
Due to suppressed inventory levels in many areas of the country, buyers are typically purchasing more expensive homes as prices increase. The average number of weeks a buyer searched for a home was 10 weeks. New-home construction has failed to catch up to buyer demand, with the share of new-home sales falling to an all-time low of 13%. For comparison, new-home sales held steady at 16% from 2011 to 2015. Existing-home sales have edged up from 86% of the market last year to 87% this year.