Breaking: people buying homes b/c they want to own a home
Jan 2011 14

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® has released results of a study on the reasons that people give for wanting to buy a home.

A new study on Massachusetts home buyers and sellers found that the top motivating factor cited by home buyers for the purchase of a home in 2010 was simply the “desire to own a home” and not some of the other well-known benefits …

When first-time and repeat home buyers were asked “what was the primary reason they purchased a home in 2010,” 36 percent responded it was the “desire to own a home”. The other top reasons included the “desire for a larger home” (8 percent); a “change in family situation” (8 percent); the “desire for a home in a better location” (8 percent); and the “home buyer tax credit” (7 percent).

So, the answer to the question, “Why did you buy a home?” is, “Because I wanted to own a home,” which seems pretty obvious but of course there’s more to that answer than that.

The study also reported that 55 percent of all homes purchased in the Bay State in 2010 were made by first-time home buyers (compared to 50 percent nationally).

Wow. More than half of purchases made last year were by first-time home-buyers, which surprises even me. I had no idea it was that high, and it’s going to make me think long and hard about my marketing and advertising campaigns. (Having said that, I think that people making purchases inside downtown Boston are more-likely to be repeat buyers, because of prices, for one thing.)

The MAR report included a lot of helpful data (for real estate agents) as well as those looking to buy or sell a home.

  • The median income of buyers (which is reported from 2009 household data) was down to $82,100 compared to $94,800 in 2008 and higher than the $72,200 national median income.
  • Fifty-five percent of home buyers were married couples, 19 percent single females, 12 percent single males, and 13 percent unmarried couples.
  • The median age of the first-time home buyer was 32. Fifty-four percent of first-time home buyers were between 25 and 34 years old, while 28 percent were 35-44 years. Only eight percent were 18-24 year years.
  • In 2010, 92 percent of buyers still financed their home purchase (98 percent of first-time buyers compared to 84 percent of repeat buyers). Savings was the chief source of the down-payment for 85 percent of first-time buyers with 48 percent of repeat buyers using proceeds from the sale of their primary residence.
  • Ninety-four percent of home-sellers in Massachusetts chose to work with a real estate professional. So much for “for-sale-by-owner”.
  • On the seller side, the most-interesting statistic is this:

    Thirty-seven percent of home sellers reported the main reason for deciding to sell was either a change in family situation (e.g., marriage, birth of child, divorce) or their home was too small. Only three percent reported selling their house because they could not afford the mortgage and other expenses of owning a home.

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