While honing your craft as a real estate agent is important, it’s also vital that you understand the demographics that are driving today’s market. This blog will explain who is dominating the current housing market, offering tips on how to be the best agent for any situation. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing Buyers.”
The National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that married couples continue to make up the majority of buyers at roughly 63 percent. The next largest chunk are single females, making up 18 percent of the market. This is on par with their 2017 report. Some trends shifted from 2017, however. For example, single male buyers made some traction by going up from 7 percent to 8 percent of all buyers. Another slight shift was that first-time home buyers fell from 34 percent to 33 percent in this latest report.
When it comes to buying the actual home, single males tend to spend more on homes than single females. Unmarried men clocked in with a median home sale price of $215,000, while single women buyers had a median home sale price of $189,000.
Challenges for buyers
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated, “With the lower end of the housing market – smaller, moderately priced homes – seeing the worst of the inventory shortage, first-time home buyers who want to enter the market are having difficulty finding a home they can afford,” adding that this inventory shortage of creates a challenge for first-time home buyers. “Homes were selling in a median of three weeks and multiple offers were a common occurrence, further pushing up home prices.”
Another challenge for many buyers is significant student loan debt. Thirteen percent of buyers said they’re having difficulty saving for a down payment, with half of those respondents stating student loans as the primary reason. First-time homebuyers are specifically struggling with this issue, as 40 percent have some student loan debt with median debt totaling $30,000. Student loans hit both younger homebuyers and singles harder. Younger buyers are either freshly out of school or struggling to prioritize student loans with saving for a down payment. Single people don’t have the support that married couples have as they’re working to pay off their student loans.
Overall, the outlook is trending positive, according to Yun: “Existing home sales data shows inventory has been rising slowly on a year-over-year basis in recent months, which may encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market.”
Such improvements may even be showing up in the numbers already. The 2018 NAR report found buyers put a median 13 percent down on their home purchases, up from 10 percent last year and the highest amount since 2005.
Knowing the relationship and financial status of your buyer is key in setting up the home search process for them. To learn more about how to appropriately and efficiently represent your buyers, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to the “Representing Buyers” course.