As the housing market continues its gradual recovery, who are today’s home buyers and what motivates them to make a purchase? Recent analysis from the National Association of Home Builders of the latest American Housing Survey provides insight into recent home buyers and the home buying process.
While the number of households buying a home had been falling since 2005, the number of recent home buyers actually doubled between the 2011 and 2013 surveys. Of these 13.7 million households, 43% were buying their first home, while 11% were purchasing a new home.
Home buyers said the top two reasons for choosing a home were its size and room layout or design. The house’s price and the neighborhood came in tied for third. However, for first-time buyers, price was the top consideration.
When asked about making their neighborhood selection, home buyers noted their top reasons for choosing a neighborhood as “the house itself” and safety. First-time home buyers, who have a median age of 32, also seem to prioritize a healthy home-work balance, such as proximity to job, friends and family.
The size of a purchased home hasn’t changed much in recent years. In fact, the median size of all homes purchased has been 1,800 square feet since 2005. However, the median size of new homes bumped up from 2,100 square feet in 2011 to 2,200 square feet in 2013.
So how long does it take buyers to find the right home? Home buyers looked at 10 different homes before deciding which one to purchase. And about half of the buyers used their savings for a downpayment while 17 percent used the sale of a previous home or purchased their home without a downpayment.