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An In-Depth Analysis of 2020’s Buyers and Sellers


An In-Depth Analysis of 2020’s Buyers and Sellers

December 18, 2020
Two people smiling with house keys
Photo: bnenin

To build, a builder needs to know their buyers. Who they are, what they want, and how they purchase a home are pertinent factors for home building. The National Association of Realtors’ annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey identified characteristics of both homebuyers and homes purchased, financing, selling experiences, and general profiles before and after COVID-19. Survey results come from buyers and sellers who purchased sometime between July 2019 to June 2020. Notable changes include the decrease in first-time homebuyers, which dipped to 31% from 33% in 2019. This is the lowest share since 1987.

Tightened inventory is affecting the home search process of buyers. Due to suppressed inventory levels in many areas of the country, buyers are typically purchasing more expensive homes as prices increase. The number of weeks a buyer searched for a home fell to eight weeks from 10. Many buyers took advantage of new virtual tours and virtual listings and used those in their search process. Buyers continue to report the most difficult task for them in the home buying process was just finding the right home to purchase. 

Increased prices are also impacting sellers. Tenure in the home remained at a high of 10 years this year. Historically, tenure in the home has been six to seven years. Sellers may now have the equity and buyer demand to sell their home after stalling or delaying their home sale.

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