Every year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a survey that shows different homebuyer trends for that year. The first survey was released 35 years ago, so this year, Goldsmith real estate agents at Elevation Realty have decided to take a look back at how times have changed in the last 35 years.
Real estate agents are still vital to the process.
When the internet was first introduced to the world, many people thought it would eventually replace the need for realtors. After all, now buyers could access listings of different homes without asking a realtor for help. Although the survey shows a clear increase in the number of buyers who use the internet to look for a home, it also shows that despite having the internet available, buyers and sellers are still working with real estate agents.
Younger generations are still struggling to afford a home.
In 2015, only 32% of home sales involved a first-time buyer, compared to 50% of home sales just five years prior. This shows that many people may still be struggling to save up a down payment on a new home because of unemployment or student loan debt. Are you struggling to put money aside that you can use towards your down payment? Millennials, here’s how to save for a down payment
Homes are basically the same size they’ve always been.
In last year’s survey, the average single-family home that was purchased by buyers was 2,000 square feet. But, this result is not unusual for the NAR survey, considering it has been the average single-family home size for seven different years. What does this show us? Not much has changed. In 1981, first year the survey was conducted, the average single-family home purchased was 1,700 square feet, which is not a significant difference from today’s numbers.
It takes longer to find a home.
Surprisingly, it is taking buyers longer to find a home these days than it did back in the 1980s, despite today’s consumers having access to the internet. In 2015, it took buyers an average of 10 weeks to find a home once they began their search, compared to just 7 or 8 weeks back in the 1980s. Why? It’s hard to say. It could be because there isn’t as much inventory available for buyers, or it could be attributed to pickier buyers who spend more time finding the perfect home.
Down payments are going down.
In 1989, which was the first year the survey touched on down payments, first-time buyers were making an average down payment of 10% of the purchase price of the home. How does that compare to today? In 2015, first-time buyers were only putting an average of 6% of the purchase price down on a home. This could mean that lenders are more flexible today than they were back in the 1980s.
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