Know What Buyers REALLY Want?

by Stephanie Sims

What do homebuyers really want? The answer, the NAHB discovered, depends in large part on what kind of home that buyers are looking for.


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently conducted a consumer survey to find out what homebuyers really want – and the answers may surprise you.

NAHB used the American Housing Survey to find out what homebuyers wanted from two groups: the first-time homebuyer group and homebuyers who bought a new home. The survey asked 6.8 million homebuyers what they looked for when it came to a new home, and the answers differed between groups: price and proximity to work, children’s schools, etc., are priorities for first-time homebuyers, while trade-up buyers value the home’s design and neighborhood.

“Among first-time homebuyers, price was the most frequently cited reason for selecting a particular house, with a 38 percent share. At 30 percent, proximity to work was the most frequently cited reason for choosing a specific neighborhood,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. “The majority of trade-up buyers (36 percent) cited the design of the home as the primary reason for selecting a particular house, with 28 percent citing the looks and design of the community as the reason for choosing a specific neighborhood.”

Other key findings from the survey included:

  • Reflecting the severe downturn in new construction, only 8 percent of home buyers purchased a new home. But 55 percent of prospective and recent buyers say they would prefer to buy new.
  • Forty-six percent of home buyers were purchasing their first home.
  • Overall, buyers had a median income of $64,998—$59,964 if they were first-time buyers, and $81,715 if there were buying a new home.
  • The median new home buyer is 38 years old, and the median first-time buyer is 31 years old.
  • The median number of homes a buyer looks at is six homes before purchasing a new home, and 10 homes before buying an existing one

Take note, agents, when working with first-time or trade-up buyers!

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