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Buyer Bios

Profiles of Recent
Home Buyers and
Sellers
November 2, 2018
National Association of REALTORS®
Research Group
Methodology
In July 2018, NAR mailed out a 129-question survey using a random sample weighted to be representative of
sales on a geographic basis to 155,250 recent home buyers. The recent home buyers had to have purchased a
primary residence home between July of 2017 and June of 2018. A total of 7,191 responses were received from
primary residence buyers. After accounting for undeliverable questionnaires, the survey had an adjusted
response rate of 4.6 percent.

Respondents had the option to fill out the survey via hard copy or online. The online survey was available in
English and Spanish.

Consumer names and addresses were obtained from Experian, a firm that maintains an extensive database of
recent home buyers derived from county records. Information about sellers comes from those buyers who also
sold a home.

All information in this Profile is characteristic of the 12-month period ending June 2018, with the exception of
income data, which are reported for 2017. In some sections comparisons are also given for results obtained in
previous surveys. Not all results are directly comparable due to changes in questionnaire design and sample
size. Some results are presented for the four U.S. Census regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. The
median is the primary statistical measure used throughout this report. Due to rounding and omissions for space,
percentage distributions may not add to 100 percent.

Data gathered in the report is based on primary residence home buyers. From the 2017 Investment and
Vacation Home Buyer Survey, 70 percent of home buyers were primary residence buyers, which accounts for
4,207,000 homes sold in 2016. Using that calculation, the sample at the 95 percent confidence level has a
confidence interval of plus-or-minus 1.15%.

2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


Demographic Changes
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Profile Profile Profile Profile Profile Profile
Median Age 42 44 44 44 45 46
Gross
Household $83,300 $84,500 $86,100 $88,500 $88,800 $91,600
Income
Household 66% 65% 67% 66% 65% 63%
Composition married married married married married married
couples, couples, couples, couples, couples, couples,
16% single 16% single 15% single 17% single 18% single 18% single
females, females, females, females, females, females,
9% single 9% single 9% single 7% single 7% single 9% single
males, 7% males, 8% males, 7% males, 8% males, 8% males, 8%
unmarried unmarried unmarried unmarried unmarried unmarried
couples couples couples couples couples couples

Children in
40% 35% 37% 38% 37% 34%
Home
Own a 2nd
19% 21% 19% 15% 17% 17%
Home

2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


Married with Kids
Type of Home Unique to these buyers:
 Median Age: 38
Purchased  Median Income: $106,250
 32% are first-time buyers 52% found the
Detached single-
family, 92%  85% are buyers of previously owned homes convenience to
Townhouse/row  86% bought through an agent/broker schools
house, 3%  Median square feet of home purchased: 2,280 important
Duplex/apartment/  Median home price: $305,000
condo, 1% A median of 2
Other, 3% children under
18 reside in the
home

Reasons to Purchase 23% 68% were


Home of all respondents repeat buyers

Home in better area 9%


Typical home
Job relocation 13% had 4 bedrooms
13% of buyers bought multi-generational home and 2 bathrooms
Larger home 19% Reasons:
 Aging family members: 50%
Desire to own 28%  Young adults over age 18: 43%
% 10% 20% 30%
2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Single Females
Type of Home
Unique to these buyers:
Purchased 

Median Age: 54
Median Income: $61,360
Detached single-  32% are first-time buyers
family, 71% Convenience to
 89% are buyers of previously owned homes friends and
Townhouse/row  87% bought through an agent/broker
house, 12% family was
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,550
Duplex/apartment/  Median home price: $189,000 important for
47% 49%
condo, 10%
purchased in a
Other, 7%
suburb/
subdivision
Reasons to Purchase
18% 19% had children
Home of all respondents under the age of
18 in the home
Desire for smaller home 8% 39%
Desire to be closer to family/
made no
friends/relatives 12% compromises
13% of buyers bought multi-generational home when choosing
Change in family situation
(e.g. marriage, etc.) 12% Reasons: a home
 Aging family members: 40%
Desire to own 32%  Young adults over age 18: 33%

% 10% 20% 30% 40%


2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Single Males
Type of Home Unique to these buyers:
 Median Age: 52
Purchased  Median Income: $73,180
39% found
 36% are first-time buyers
Detached single-  88% are buyers of previously owned homes convenience to
family, 78%  86% bought through an agent/broker job an influencing
Townhouse/row neighborhood
house, 10%
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,590 45% said
Duplex/apartment/  Median home price: $215,000 factor the overall
condo, 5% affordability
Other, 7% of homes was
important
Reasons to Purchase 9% 12% had children
Home of all respondents under the age of
18 in the home
Desire for a home in a better
area 6% 20%
purchased in
Desire to be closer to 6%
family/friends/relatives urban
10% of buyers bought multi-generational home area/central
Change in family situation
(e.g. marriage, birth of child, 13%
Reasons: city
divorce, etc.)  Aging family members: 34%
 Young adults over age 18: 29%
Desire to own 34%

% 10% 20% 30% 40% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Unmarried Couples
Type of Home Unique to these buyers:
 Median Age: 34
Purchased  Median Income: $88,750
 60% are first-time buyers Quality of
Detached single-  91% are buyers of previously owned homes neighborhood was
family, 83% an influencing
 89% bought through an agent/broker
Townhouse/row factor, 63%
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,630
house, 8%
 Median home price: $219,000 69% had no
Duplex/apartmet/
condo, 2%
children under
Other, 6%
the age of 18
living in their
home
Reasons to Purchase 9% 23% of unmarried
Home of all respondents couples
compromised on
Desire for a home in a better condition of their
area
5%
home
Change in family situation
54% rented an
(e.g. marriage, birth of child, 8% apartment or
divorce, etc.)
7% of buyers bought multi-generational home house before their
Desire for a larger home 8% Reasons: recent purchase
 Young adults over age 18 : 82%
Desire to own 48%  Aging family members: 12%
% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
First-time Buyers
Type of Home Unique to these buyers:
Purchased 

Median Age: 32
Median Income: $75,000 The expected
Detached single-  91% are buyers of previously owned homes
tenure of first-time
family, 80%  90% bought through an agent/broker
Townhouse/row  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,600
buyers was a
house, 10%  Median home price: $203,680 median of 10
Duplex/apartment
/condo, 4%
years
54% were married
Other, 6%
couples, 18% single
females, 16%
unmarried couples,
Convenience to
10% single males
Reasons to Purchase 33% job was an
of all respondents important
Home neighborhood
factor, 60%
Financial security 4% 71% rented an
apartment or
Establish a household 4% 12% of buyers bought multi-generational home house before
Change in family situation Reasons: buying
(e.g. marriage, birth of 7%  Aging family members: 50%
child, divorce, etc.)
 Young adults over age 18: 31%
Desire to own 66%

0% 50% 100% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


Repeat Buyers
Type of Home Unique to these buyers:
Purchased 

Median Age: 55
Median Income: $100,000 18% contacted a
Detached single-  83% are buyers of previously owned homes
real estate agent
family, 83%  85% bought through an agent/broker
Townhouse/row as their first step
 Median square feet of home purchased: 2,000
house, 6%
 Median home price: $280,000
in buying
Duplex/apartment/
condo, 5%
Other, 6% Expect to stay
in their home
for 15 years

Reasons to Purchase 67% 38% made no


compromises on
Home of all respondents
the characteristics
Job-related relocation or
of their home
11%
move
52% purchased
Desire to own a home of
own
11% in a suburb/
12% of buyers bought multi-generational home subdivision
Desire to be closer to
12% Reasons:
family/friends/relatives
 Aging family members: 40%
Desire for a larger home 12%  Young adults over age 18: 39%

11% 11% 12% 12% 13%


2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers of Multi-Generational Housing
Type of Home Unique to these buyers:
Purchased  Median Age: 51
39% had
 Median Income: $89,500
Detached single-  31% are first-time buyers children under
family, 83%  83% are buyers of previously owned homes the age of 18
Townhouse/row
house, 5%
 84% bought through an agent/broker in the home
Duplex/apartment/  Median square feet of home purchased: 2,070
condo, 4%  Median home price: $264,100 58% found the
Other, 8% quality of the
neighborhood to
be important
63% were married
Reasons to Purchase Home 12% couples, 19% single
Change in family situation of all respondents females, 7% single
(e.g. marriage, birth of child, 10% males, 5%
divorce, etc.)
unmarried couples
Desire to be closer to
10% 49% were
friends/family/relatives
located in a
suburb/subdivision
Desire for larger home 10% Reasons for purchasing multi-generational home:
 Aging family members: 44%
 Young adults over age 18: 37%
Desire to own a home of
own
29%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers of Senior Housing
(Among those 50 years of age or older)
Unique to these buyers:
Type of Home
Median Age: 69
Purchased

 Median Income: $72,800
 7% are first-time buyers
49% made no
Detached single-
family, 61%  72% are buyers of previously owned homes compromises when
Townhouse/row  79% bought through an agent/broker purchasing
house, 11%  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,700
Duplex/apartment  Median home price: $239,100 13%
/condo, 18% purchased in a
Other, 10% resort/recreation
area
Reasons to Purchase 13% 49% found the
Home quality of the
of all respondents
neighborhood
Desire to own home of own 10%
important

Desire for smaller home 14% Household Composition of Homes typically

Desire to be closer to
Buyers had 2 bedrooms
and 2 bathrooms
18%
friends & family Married couple, 62%
Single female, 24%
Retirement 23%
Single male, 7%
Unmarried couple, 4%
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25%
Other, 3% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers with Student Loan Debt
Unique to these buyers:
Type of Home Purchased
 Median Age: 35
 Median Income: $90,800 Typically had
Detached single-  55% are first-time buyers $28,000 of
family, 84%  89% are buyers of previously owned homes student loan debt
Townhouse/row  88% bought through an agent/broker
house, 8%  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800 Debt delayed
Duplex/apatment  Median home price: $234,000 buyers from
/condo, 3% saving for a
Other, 5% downpayment for
2 years
27% cited saving for
Reasons to Purchase Home
24% the downpayment as
the most difficult step
Change in family situation of all respondents
(e.g. marriage, birth of 7% in the home buying
child, divorce, etc.) process
Job-related relocation or
7%
39% cut spending
move on luxury or non-
essential items
Desire for a larger home 12%
11% of buyers bought multi-generational home to purchase home
Reasons:
Desire to own home of
 Aging family members: 46%
46%  Young adults over age 18: 35%
their own

0% 20% 40% 60%


2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyer, Self, or Spouse are Active
in the Armed Forces or Veteran
 Median Age: 31  Median Age: 59
 Median Income: $80,000  Median Income: $89,000
 52% are first-time buyers  19% are first-time buyers
 84% are buyers of previously owned homes  82% are buyers of previously owned homes
 91% bought through an agent/broker  86% bought through an agent/broker
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,960  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,950
 Median home price: $251,000  Median home price: $250,000

Unique to these buyers: Unique to these buyers:


58% lived in
Convenience to owned home
job influencing prior to their
neighborhood recent home
factor for 60% purchase
24% purchased 15% purchased
because of a 3% 18% a multi-
job-related of all respondents of all respondents generational
relocation or home
move 83% purchased
14% purchased a detached
a multi- single-family
generational home
home
2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Gay/Lesbian or Bisexual
 Median Age: 44  Median Age: 36
 Median Income: $98,500  Median Income: $63,300
 35% are first-time buyers  64% are first-time buyers
 86% are buyers of previously owned homes  98% are buyers of previously owned homes
 87% bought through an agent/broker  89% bought through an agent/broker
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800
 Median home price: $253,800  Median home price: $216,500

Unique to these buyers: Unique to these buyers:


54%
50% rented an
lived in owned apartment or
home prior to house prior to
41%were single
40% married buying buying
females, 32%
couples,
24% unmarried 4% 1% married couples,
15% single males,
couples, 22% single of all respondents of all respondents 54% and 11% unmarried
males, and chose their couples
10% single females 32% neighborhood based
purchased in an on the overall
urban affordability of
area/central city homes
2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers Who Were Rejected by a
Mortgage Lender
Unique to these buyers:
Household Composition
 Median Age: 40
Married Couple,  Median Income: $72,690 Mortgage
61%  50% are first-time buyers application was
Single Female, 16%  87% are buyers of previously owned homes typically denied
Single Male, 12%
 86% bought through an agent/broker one time
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800 Debt typically
Unmarried Couple,  Median home price: $195,450 delayed buyers
10% for 2 years from
Other, 2% saving for a down
payment or
40% have
Reasons Mortgage Application was 4% student loan
buying
of all respondents debt, with a
Rejected
median debt of
Debt to income ratio 33% $33,000
47% said getting
Low credit score 27%
a mortgage was
Income was unable to be verified 14% the most difficult
Not enough money in reserves Race/Ethnicity
12% step in the home
 77%, White/Caucasian
Insufficient down payment 12%
 12%, Black/African American buying process
Too soon after refinancing… 1%  10%, Hispanic/Latino/Mexican/Puerto Rican
Other 28%  4%, Asian/Pacific Islander
Don't know 8%
 3%, Other

0% 20% 40% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


Buyers Who Frequently Used the
Internet to Search for Their Home
Unique to these buyers:
Type of Home Purchased  Median Age: 43
65% married
 Median Income: $93,750
 35% are first-time buyers couples, 17% single
Detached single-
 87% are buyers of previously owned homes females, 9%
family, 84%
 90% bought through an agent/broker unmarried couples,
Townhouse/row
house, 7%  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,900 and 7% single 50% first looked
Duplex/apartment/  Median home price: $258,000 males online for
condo, 4%
properties for
Other, 5%
88% found sale during
detailed property buying process
Reasons to Purchase Home
83% information very
of all respondents useful when
Desire to be closer to searching for
7%
family/friends/relatives homes online
Change in family situation 90% found photos
7%
(e.g. marriage, etc.) very useful when
Job related relocation or searching for
9%
move 12% of buyers bought multi-generational home homes online
Desire for larger home
Reasons:
9%
 Aging family members: 46%
Desire to own home of
30%
 Young adults over age 18: 37%
their own

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers of New Homes
Unique to these buyers:
Type of Home
Purchased  Median Age: 52 39% purchased a
 Median Income: $111,770
new home to avoid
Detached single-  20% are first-time buyers
family, 85% renovations or
 59% bought through an agent/broker
problems with
Townhouse/row  39% bought directly from the builder
house, 8% plumbing or
 Median square feet of home purchased: 2,240
electricity 32% purchased
Duplex/apartment  Median home price: $329,200
/condo, 4% a new home to
Other, 3% choose and
customize design
features
Reasons to Purchase 22% purchased a
Home
14% new home for the
of all respondents amenities of new
Job-related relocation or home construction
9%
move communities
62%
Desire for a newly built or purchased in a
10%
custom-built home
14% of buyers bought multi-generational home suburb/
Desire for larger home 10% Reasons: subdivision
 Aging family members: 42%
Desire to own home of
own
20%  Young adults over age 18: 36%

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25%


2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers of Previously
Owned Homes
Unique to these buyers:
Type of Home Purchased  Median Age: 44
 Median Income: $89,100 32% purchased
Detached single-  35% are first-time buyers a previously
family, 82%  92% bought through an agent/broker
Townhouse/row
owned home for
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800
house, 7%
 Median home price: $239,800
the better price
Duplex/apartment/ 31% purchased
condo, 4%
a previously
Other, 6%
owned home for
the better overall
value
Reasons to Purchase 86% 58% said the
quality of the
Home of all respondents
neighborhood
Change in family situation
was important
8%
(e.g. marriage) 22% purchased a
Job-related relocation or
8% previously owned
move
12% of buyers bought multi-generational home home for the
Desire to be closer to
8% Reasons: charm and
family/friends/relatives
character
 Aging family members: 42%
Desire for larger home 9%
 Young adults over age 18: 37%
Desire for a smaller home 31%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Buyers’ Neighborhood Choice was
Because of Pet
Unique to these buyers:
Type of Home Purchased  Median Age: 40 33% chose their
 Median Income: $85,000 neighborhood
 40% are first-time buyers
Detached single- based on
family, 85%  91% are buyers of previously owned homes
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800 convenience to
Townhouse/row parks/recreational
house, 5%  Median home price: $225,000
facilities 4% purchased to
Duplex/apartment
/condo, 3% have a better
Other, 7% home for their
pets
66% said the
Reasons to Purchase Home 15% quality of the
of all respondents neighborhood was
Change in family situation important
7%
(e.g. marriage, etc.)
Desire for a home in a
49% purchased
7% in a suburb/
better area
Desire to be closer to
7% Household Composition subdivision, and
family/friends/relatives
 Married couple: 61% 18% purchased in
Job-related relocation or
move
8%  Single female, 21% a small town
Desire for larger home 8%  Single male, 5%
 Unmarried couple, 11%
Desire to own home of
34%  Other, 1%
their own

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Black/African-American
Household Unique to these buyers:
Composition 

Median Age: 44
Median Income: $82,140
Married couple, 47%
22%
 50% are first-time buyers
 82% are buyers of previously owned homes compromised on
Single female, 28% the style and size
 90% bought through an agent/broker
Single male, 13%  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,800 of the home
 Median home price: $210,000 purchased 22%
Unmarried couple, purchased a
10% multi-
Other, 2%
generational
home
Reasons to Purchase Quality of the
5%
Home of all respondents
neighborhood
was an influencing
Desire for a home in a better factor, 62%
area
6% 56%
rented an
Change in family situation apartment or
8% Type of Home Purchased
(e.g. marriage, birth of…
house prior to
Desire for larger home  Detached single-family- 83% purchasing
11%
 Townhouse/row house- 11%
 Duplex/apartment/condo- 2%
Desire to own 42%  Other- 4%

% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Asian/Pacific Islander
Household Unique to these buyers:
Composition 

Median Age: 36
Median Income: $113,890
51%
rented an
Married couple, 70%  59% are first-time buyers apartment or
 80% are buyers of previously owned homes house prior to
Single female, 14%
 90% bought through an agent/broker purchasing
Single male, 8%  Median square feet of home purchased: 1,970
 Median home price: $390,200 69% found the
Unmarried couple, 6%
quality of the
Other, 2% neighborhood to
be important
Reasons to Purchase Home 34% made
4% compromises on
Change in family situation of all respondents
(e.g. marriage, birth of 5% the price of their
child, divorce, etc.) home
Job-related relocation or
move
9% 21% purchased a
Type of Home Purchased multi-generational
home
Desire for larger home 10%
 Detached single-family- 82%
 Townhouse/row house- 13%
Desire to own a home of  Duplex/apartment/condo- 2%
46%  Other- 2%
own

0% 20% 40% 60% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


Hispanic/Latino/
Mexican/Puerto Rican
Household Unique to these buyers:
Composition 

Median Age: 41
Median Income: $87,730
Quality of the
neighborhood
Married couple,  46% are first-time buyers
was an
60%  82% are buyers of previously owned homes
Single female, 19%  88% bought through an agent/broker
influencing factor,
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,850 54%
Single male, 10% 29% made
 Median home price: $245,000
compromises on
Unmarried couple, the price of their
9% home
Other, 3%

6% 23% purchased a
Reasons to Purchase of all respondents multi-generational
Home home

Change in family situation


6% 33%
(e.g. marriage, birth of…
moved from
Desire to be closer to Type of Home Purchased
family/friends/relatives
6% owned home prior
 Detached single-family- 80% to buying
Desire for a larger home 7%  Townhouse/row house- 9%
 Duplex/apartment/condo- 3%
Desire to own home of  Other- 8%
45%
their own

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
White/Caucasian
Household Unique to these buyers:
Composition 

Median Age: 47
Median Income: $91,820
Married couple, 64%  29% are first-time buyers Convenience to job
 86% are buyers of previously owned homes
Single female, 17%
was an influencing
 87% bought through an agent/broker
factor at 44%
 Median square feet of home purchased: 1,900
Single male, 8%
 Median home price: $250,000 21%
Unmarried couple, compromised
9% on the price
Other, 2% of their home
Reasons to Purchase Home 85% 10% purchased a
of all respondents
Change in family situation multi-generational
(e.g. marriage, birth of child, 8%
divorce, etc.) home
Job-related relocation or move 9% 54%
moved from
Desire to be closer to Type of Home Purchased
family/friends/relatives
9% owned home
 Detached single-family- 83% prior to buying
Desire for a larger home 9%  Townhouse/row house- 6%
 Duplex/apartment/condo- 5%
Desire to own 26%  Other- 6%

% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers