Why Are 3% of Homebuyers a Total Enigma?

woman in blue crew neck shirt sitting on brown couch

Most of this year’s homebuyers fall into one of the major categories described in the most recent NAR statistical homebuyer survey. The National Association of Realtors® makes it a key part of their research to keep track of the nation’s homebuyers—the NAR’s professional members need to stay in touch with the latest changes in homebuyer preferences and characteristics. After all, those are both Realtors’ clients and our clients’ prospects.

Interesting Trends

This latest yearly report made for especially interesting reading. As the first sampling to encompass home sales in the pandemic era, you’d expect some shifts in who was buying and what properties they were being attracted to. Like COVID-19 itself, the details from this past year were bound to show some novel characteristics, which they did—including one statistic about an almost inexplicable 3% of buyers. These post-pandemic changes surfaced:

  • Homebuyers who completed purchases after last March were 36% more likely to have chosen a multi-generational home—one that could accommodate extended family members.
  • The sense of urgency among home buyers—including a stated desire to accelerate their transactions—increased notably after March.
  • Even though sellers were more likely to use incentives to spur a sale, homes sold after March had higher median selling prices: $300,000 compared with $270,000!
  • The average buyer’s age reached an all-time high: 55 years old. First-timers averaged 33.
  • The NAR study found that “97% of buyers searched for their home online.”

Where Do They Look?

It’s the last statistic that might pique the curiosity of attentive local readers. If that percentage holds for homebuyers as well as for those in the national average, who, exactly, makes up the mysterious 3%? Who would NOT have checked out the online listings at least once before buying their next home? Unless that’s the percentage of people whose computers and smartphones are in the repair shop (or who have a really, really bad cable connection), uncovering the answer may call for a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Until he shows up, this will have to remain one of those riddles wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma…