American Home Buyers in 2014 (The Data)

Every year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) puts out an informative report on the US real estate market.

Of course, compiling data on the hundreds of thousands of sellers, buyers, and agents around the country takes time, but the data’s finally out on 2014! Why should you care? Because these data points can inform your buying process, make you a better-prepared seller, and help you decide whether to use a REALTOR and which one to use.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting statistical findings from the 2014 NAR Real Estate report on who’s buying homes in America:

  • 33% of buyers in 2014 were “first time” homebuyers. While that seems like a lot, it’s still down from the historical average of about 40%. About 65% of these first time buyers were recently married couples.
  • Despite a proliferation of online resources, 88% of buyers used a real estate agent to purchase their home. In 2001, that number was only 69%.

first time buyers graph

  • The average home purchased was about 1,870 square feet and 80% were single family homes. It took the typical buyer 10 weeks (down from 12 weeks in 2013) to find a home to buy, and they viewed an average of 10 homes.
  • Age of the average homebuyer? It rose slightly from 42 to 44 in 2014, and buyers in the South tend to be older than buyers in the Midwest and Northeast. Single male or female buyers made up only a quarter of all buyers nationwide.
  • The average southern homebuyer’s combined family income was $85,000 (slightly higher than many other regions.)
  • New homes were understandably more expensive than previously-owned homes, averaging $277,000. Previously owned homes averaged about $200,000.

Now, what do you need to know about how buyers purchased a home and what the homes they purchased had in common?

  • 84% of buyers bought a previously-owned home rather than new construction. That figure has actually held steady for the last four years, nationally; in the South, only 79% of people purchased previously-owned homes.
  • Which factors were most important overall when it came to purchasing a home? In order, the quality of the neighborhood, convenience to work, and the overall affordability of the housing market were most crucial.

satisfaction graph

  • Overall, 88% of buyers used both the internet and an agent when sourcing market information. Among first time buyers, only 11% contacted a real estate agent as a first step when looking for a home. That number rose to 18% for repeat buyers (experience tells all!)
  • Among buyers who used the internet to search and possibly find, a house, about 90% ultimately used a real estate agent to complete the purchase of the home.
  • Since 2001, the percentage of home buyers who used a buyer’s agent has risen dramatically. In 2001 the number was 69% and in 2014 about 89% of all buyers used an agent.


Of course, the study is enormous and is chock full of fascinating data about everything from the listing process to the way most buyers finance their home purchase. If you have time, we really encourage you to give it a glance – you may learn something interesting about the home search (or selling) process that you didn’t know!

NAR 2014 Study PDF

Click here to download the full NAR Profile 2014

We always think it’s best to talk to a real estate professional rather depend on charts and graphs when you’ve got questions about buying a home. Are your needs typical? Do your expectations align with the average home buyer’s? We’re happy to chat when you’re ready for more information about the homebuying process here in Charlotte – give us a call!

Team 2.13.2014


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