Highlights From the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

For most home buyers, the purchase of real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. Buyers purchase a home not only for the desire to own a home of their own, but also because of changes in jobs, family situations, and the need for a smaller or larger living area. This annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® of recent home buyers.

This report examines:

Characteristics of Home Buyers
Characteristics of Homes Purchased
The Home Search Process
Home Buying and Real Estate Professionals
Financing the Home Purchase
Home Sellers and Their Selling Experience
Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals
For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Sellers
Home Buyers Before and During COVID-19
Home Sellers Before and During COVID-19

Characteristics of Home Buyers

  • First-time buyers made up 31% of all home buyers, a dip from last year’s 33%.
  • The typical buyer was 47 years old this year, and the median household income for 2019 rose again this year to $96,500.
  • 12% of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, and for cost-saving.
  • 18% of recent home buyers were veterans and 2% were active-duty service members.

The Home Search Process

  • For 43% of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale, while 18% of buyers first contacted a real estate agent.
  • Buyers typically searched for eight weeks and looked at a median of 9 homes and viewed 5 of these homes only online.
  • The share of home buyers who used the internet to search for a home increased to an all-time high of 97%.
  • 64% of recent buyers were very satisfied with their recent home buying process.