Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Real Estate Weekly: Home Ownership still the Holy Grail

Excerpt from Home Ownership still the Holy Grail
By Real Estate Weekly

Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of research, said the lion's share of buyers view their home as a good investment. "Eighty-five percent of recent home buyers see their home as a good investment, and nearly half think that investment is better than stocks," he said.

The next biggest reasons for buying, identified by all home buyers, were desire for a larger home, 9%; a change in family situation and the home buyer tax credit, cited by 8% each; a job-related move, 7%; and the affordability of homes, 6%. Twelve other categories were 5% or less.

The number of first-time home buyers rose to a record high 50% of all home sales from 47% in the 2009 study, building on success of the home buyer tax credit which began in 2009. The previous cyclical high for first-time buyers was 44% in 1991; records date back to 1981.

The profile shows the median age of first-time buyers was 30 and the median income was $59,900. The typical first-time buyer purchased a 1,540 s/f home costing $152,000, with 93% using the first-time buyer tax credit.

Fifty-eight percent of all buyers are married couples, 20% are single women, 12% single men, 8% unmarried couples and 1% other.

Bishop noted, "A modest increase in the share of single men buyers may result from the home buyer tax credit, but this is the highest share for single men in the history of the study."

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