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Couples Driving the Real Estate Market in 2012

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 and sellers provides insight into detailed information about their experiences with this important transaction. Here you can find highlights from the latest report.
  • 39 percent of recent home buyers were first-time buyers, a slight rise from 2011, but closer to the historical norm of 40 percent.
  • 65 percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001. Conversely there was the lowest share of single buyers since 2001.
  • For 52 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was taken online.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes—a decline from 12 homes in prior year, which speaks to the tightened inventory in many areas.
  • 89 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, similar to last year’s report—a share that steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
  • 88 percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Only 9 percent of recent sellers sold via FSBO sale. Among FSBO sellers who did not know the buyer prior to the sale—20 percent sold via FSBO because the buyer directly contacted them.
  • Approximately two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.

National Association of Realtors

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