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What did home buyers and sellers look like in 2016?

Times are changing all around us, seemingly faster and faster. Fashions some of us loved went out of style, came back as retro, then went back out of style again. There is an entire generation now for whom buying a music album doesn’t actually involve any buying any physical item what so ever, but instead just a collection of electrons. And still some things stay the same. Despite some really amazing advances in virtual reality, there’s still no better way to enjoy a summer day than to be out in it.

Real estate has had its own share of changes in the last year. The National Association of Realtors puts out a survey of home buyers and sellers every year to help real estate professionals get a better look at trends in the industry. The 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is the report that gives that information. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights:

First time home buyers are up.

Historically, we’ve seen that first time home buyers, people who have never owned their own home before, make up about 40% of all home buyers. After some recent economic downturns, some entry level jobs have failed to reappear in the quantity and quality that allow younger buyers to enter the real estate market. This had led to a drop in first time home buyers, with them making up only 32% of the real estate market. 2016 was a better year for them with first time home buyers jumping up to 35% of the market. Hopefully this is a sign of good things coming in the national economy.

Why people bought or didn’t buy.

Unsurprisingly, when asked about the reason a home buyer wanted to buy a home, the primary reason for buying was the desire to own a home of their own. Even with the recent increase in younger people renting for longer, the desire to have a place of your own is still a strong drive. At the same time, the number one hurdle in the way of buying a home was saving up for a down payment. That’s something we hear often ourselves. And the number one thing preventing potential buyers from saving up for a down payment? Student loans, followed closely by credit card debt.

What about the home search process?

Every year the internet becomes more and more a part of the home and selling process. 44% of recent buyers first started their home buying process by looking at homes for sale on the internet. Another 17% started by first contacting a real estate professional. But in the end, 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate professional, with most citing that they wanted an agent to help them find the right home. In addition, 88% of buyers said they would use their agent again or recommend them to others.

All in all, 2016 wasn’t a groundbreaking year in real estate, especially when compared to years like 2008 which really set some new benchmarks in the industry. But the signs are positive, both for home buyers, home sellers and real estate professionals. More people are buying homes and those homes are fetching better prices. Satisfaction with the home buying process is up and barriers to entry are down. Overall, it’s a good time to be in real estate.

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1110 Tuscarawas Avenue NW

New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Phone: (330) 364-6648

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