From staff reports
Single female buyers made up 18 percent of all homebuyers, National Association of Realtors®’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed recently.
That statistic means that for the second consecutive year, single female buyers were the second most common household buyer group, behind married couples, which account for 63 percent of homes sold.
Single male buyers accounted for nine percent of sales, but tended to purchase homes with a median price of $215,000, while single females purchased homes with a median price of $189,000.
The NAR buyer profile also shows that people are still having a hard time finding a home they can afford.
“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,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Homes were selling in a median of three weeks and multiple offers were a common occurrence, further pushing up home prices. These factors contributed to the low number of first-time buyers and the struggles of would-be buyers dreaming of joining the ranks of homeownership.”
First-time buyers fell 33 percent, continuing a now three-year decline. Thanks to rising home prices, that number has not been higher than 40 percent since 2010, when the first-time homebuyers credit ended.
Economists attribute the decline to low inventory, higher interest rates, and more people carrying student loan debt (50 percent reported such debt was hampering their ability to save for a down payment).
“However, 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,” Yun said.
How people are finding homes is relatively unchanged — 95 percent reported using the Internet at some point in their search, and 50 percent said they eventually bought a home they saw online first.
But even with the Internet playing such a big part of the home search process, 86 percent said they still used a Realtor in their home search, and 87 percent said they ended up purchasing their home through a Realtor, while 90 percent said they would definitely or probably use their Realtor again, or recommend them to a friend.
And fewer people were opting to go it alone when it came to selling their home, too. For-Sale-By-Owner sales hit an all-time low for the NAR survey at 7 percent.
“This number has been steadily declining since a high of 15 percent in 1981, with more and more owners relying on the expertise of an agent to help navigate the complicated process and intricacies of a home sale,” the report said.
To see the entire report, click here.