The National Association of Realtors has issued its 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (highlights only at this link). The profile derives from NAR’s annual survey of recent home buyers and sellers. NAR found that
Demographics continue to shift as the share of first-time home buyers dropped further from last year’s report to 32 percent of the market. This is second only to the lowest share reported in 1987 of 30 percent. Last year’s report had a share of first-time buyers of 33 percent. First-time home buyers are traditionally more likely to be single male or female home buyers and traditionally have lower incomes. As the share of repeat buyers continues to rise, the number of married couples increases and the income of home buyers purchasing homes is higher. Married couples have double the buying power of single home buyers in the market and may be better able to meet the price increases of the housing market. (5)
This adds to the findings of a variety of earlier studies that have described long-term demographic trends that will affect the housing market in very big ways.
I was particularly intrigued by one finding about sellers,
Increased prices are also impacting sellers. Tenure in the home had risen to a peak of 10 years, but in this year’s report it has eased back to nine years. Historically, tenure in the home has been six to seven years. Sellers may now have the equity and buyer demand to sell their home after stalling or delaying their home sale. (5)
This is a dramatic change and reflects the the long-term effects of the Great Recession — just as people delayed buying a new car after the financial crisis, they also delayed purchasing a new home. It’s just that they delay takes longer to see.
The report also has a series of highlights about houses, brokers and mortgages that are worth a looksee.