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The National Association of Realtors Takes on the 10 Year Challenge—Homebuyer Edition

Market Data + Trends

The National Association of Realtors Takes on the 10 Year Challenge—Homebuyer Edition

How much change can one decade bring? A lot, according to the housing industry

January 12, 2022
10 year home difference
Image: Stock.adobe.com

From 2011 to 2021, the housing market experienced some cyclical patterns as well as several record highs and record lows, many of which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic implications. When analyzing changes over the last decade, the evolution of the housing industry is drastic, and it may not be so difficult to understand why. The average price of a home in 2011 was $169,000 compared to a whopping $363,100 in the third quarter of 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

With low inventory, rising prices, high rents, and looming student debt, the share of first-time buyers from 2011 to 2021 dropped from 37% to 34%, and the typical age of an entry-level buyer was pushed back from 31 to 33. Remote work is also impacting housing data as just 5% of recent buyers moved due to a job relocation compared to 10% of migrating buyers in 2011.

In 2011, 77% of buyers purchased a detached single-family home. In 2021, that share has grown to 82%. Buyers are seeking more square footage for remote work, home schooling, larger kitchens, and private yards, which a detached home provides. The majority of buyers are purchasing in suburban areas which are more likely to have detached single-family homes instead of condos and townhomes.

The home search process for most buyers starts online. In 2011, 88% percent of buyers used the internet in their search process. In 2021, 95% of buyers used the internet in their search process. In just one decade, buyers have increased the online tools they use, adding in virtual and video tours, interactive floor plans, and interactive maps of neighborhoods.

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