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Posted in: Buying a home, First time homebuyer tips, Homeowner tips

Today’s homebuyers: Who are they, and what do they really want?

purchasing a home

We recently shared that our market has the highest rate of homeownership in the country, thanks to low unemployment and high housing affordability. While it’s obvious that owning a home is important to locals, we wanted to know what else buyers in our area care about. Here are four insights on who is purchasing in today’s market and what they care about most.

Midwestern buyers are younger

Recently, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released their 2015 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, which chronicles buyer behavior nationwide. The report showed that across the country, the median age of homebuyers is 44, and their median household income is around $86,000. In the Midwest, buyers’ median age is 41, and annual income is around $79,000.

This is in line with what we already know about living in the Midwest. Our wages may be lower in Minnesota than they would be in New York City or Miami, but our cost of living is lower, too. It makes sense that both the average age and income of a homebuyer here would be lower.

The Midwest has more first-time buyers

Next, NAR reports that 32 percent of nationwide buyers in 2015 were purchasing their first home. This is the second lowest number in history, as this number usually remains steady at around 40 percent. In the Midwest, first-time buyers comprised 38 percent of all buyers.

There are many reasons Midwestern first-time buyers may be faring ahead of the national average. Culturally, we tend to buy homes sooner than buyers who live in high-rent coastal markets. Additionally, our rent is rising across Minneapolis-St. Paul and the surrounding markets, but we still boast high affordability and low unemployment. Last, while our local economy did suffer during the Great Recession, the upset to the Minnesota and western Wisconsin area was milder than in many other major markets. For the last few years, younger local employees have been in a better place to save and build good credit than those in higher-impacted areas.

Beyonce’s affecting the housing market

Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but “the single ladies” are making a move to buy housing. Across the country, 18 percent of first-time buyers are single women, while single men make up just 11 percent of buyers purchasing for the first time. Married homebuyers still comprise the majority of first-time buyers, at 56 percent.

What’s causing this rise in lady buying power? It may come down to personal sacrifice, says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s director of survey research. When first-time buyers were asked if they cut out discretionary spending on entertainment and clothing, the results were evident. “Consistently, single female buyers are making those sacrifices more than other buyers,” said Lautz.

Convenience matters to today’s homebuyers

NAR also recently collaborated with Harris Poll to see how homebuyers felt about “one-stop shopping,” or the process of working with one entity that provides agent, mortgage and closing services and more. Virtually all homebuyers, or 97 percent, said that one-stop shopping would make the buying process at least somewhat easier.

Here’s a summary of why buyers believed that a one-stop shop was advantageous:  

  • 77 percent of homebuyers liked that their agent, mortgage loan officer and closing specialists would have knowledge about the local community
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  • 75 percent of buyers liked that they’d be able to compare mortgage interest rates
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  • 72 percent said they would like to have just one point of contact
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  • 72 percent said one-stop shopping would prevent things from falling through the cracks

At Edina Realty, we have trusted partners across every point of the transaction – from Realtors across every neighborhood – to local mortgage loan officers and title specialists as well as home warranty and home insurance assistance. For sixty years, we have understood that buying a home is the biggest investment you’re likely to make in your lifetime. We want to help you navigate every aspect of that process with ease and comfort.

Ready to buy, but not sure where to start?

Start with us. We have a customer care team that works seven days a week to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Call, email or chat today to get started on the path to homeownership.

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Status Definitions

For Sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active Contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

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