Nationally, cash buyers made up about 1/3 of all 2021 home sales so far, but that percentage rises to 52.6% in West Palm Beach, the top metro for cash sales in the U.S. The ratio was 52%
Real Estate Overview
Dated: January 15 2019
Overview of the Real Estate Market
- 5.51 million existing homes were sold in 2017, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. 612,000 newly constructed homes were sold in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States.
- According to the 2012 Economic Census, there are 86,004 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States.
- Preliminary results from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) show that there were 5.6 million commercial buildings in the United States in 2012, comprising 87.4 billion square feet of floorspace.
- There are approximately 115 million occupied housing units in the United States, according to the 2013 American Housing Survey. The typical owner-occupied home was built in 1976; the typical renter-occupied home was built in 1973. The typical home size is 1,500 square feet. The typical home owner is 55 years old and has lived in the current home for 14 years.
- In 2016, 63.7 % of families owned their primary residence, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
NAR Membership Statistics
Members to date: 1,368,530 as of November 2018
Number of local associations: 1,165 as of January 2018
- 65% percent of REALTORS® are licensed as sales agents, 21% hold broker licenses, and 15% hold broker associate licenses.
- The typical REALTOR® is a 54-year-old white female who attended college and is a homeowner.
- 63% of all REALTORS® are female, and the median age of all REALTORS® is 54.
- Real-estate experience of all REALTORS® (median): 10 years
- Median tenure at present firm (all REALTORS®): 4 years
- Most REALTORS® worked 40 hours per week in 2017.
- The median gross income of REALTORS® was $39,800 in 2017, a decrease from $42,500 in 2016.
- Median number of transaction sides in 2017:
- Residential sides for all REALTORS®: 11
- Residential sides for residential specialists only: 12
- Residential sides for commercial specialists only: 4
- Commercial sides for commercial specialists only: 6
- Formal education of REALTORS®:
- Some college: 30%
- Bachelor's degree: 30%
- Graduate degree and above: 13%
- Associate degree: 13%
- Some graduate school: 6%
- High-school graduate: 8%
- REALTOR® affiliation with firms:
- Independent contractor: 86%
- Employee: 5%
- Other: 9%
Statistics on REALTORS® and Technology
- 27% of agents and 21% of brokers spent between $501 and $2,000 on technology in the last 12 months.
- The top three tools that respondents plan on purchasing or replacing in the next year are an iPad (16%), Smartphone (15%), or digital camera (12%).
- The most frequently used operating system is Windows 7 (38%).
- The most popular smartphones are iPhone (52%), Android OS (45%), and Blackberry (3%).
- 91% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent.
- The top places where REALTORS® place their listings are realtor.com®, Zillow, and Trulia.
Home Buyer Statistics
- First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers:
- First-time buyers: 33%
- Median age of first-time buyers: 32
- Median age of repeat buyers: 55
- Median household income of first-time buyers: $75,000
- Median household income of repeat buyers: $100,000
- The typical home purchased was 1,900 square feet in size, was built in 1991, and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
- Among those who financed their home purchase, buyers typically financed 90% of the home price.
- 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
- Buyers who would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others: 74%
- Where buyers found the home they purchased:
- Internet: 50%
- Real estate agent: 28%
- Yard sign/open house sign: 7%
- Friend, relative or neighbor: 7%
- Home builder or their agent: 5%
- Directly from sellers/Knew the sellers: 2%
- Print newspaper advertisement: 1%
- 78% of home buyers surveyed in NAR’s 2013 Community Preference Survey responded that neighborhood quality is more important than the size of the home. 57% would forego a home with a larger yard in favor of a shorter commute.
- NAR’s 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences found that the feature that had the highest dollar value buyers were willing to pay more for was a waterfront property. 53% of home buyers undertook a home improvement project within 3 months of buying, typically spending $4,550 in improvement projects.
Home Seller Statistics
- The typical home seller in 2017 was 55 years of age, had a median household income of $98,800, and lived in their home for 9 years.
- 91% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
- Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 99% of the listing price, and 23% reported reducing the asking price at least once.
- The typical home sold was on the market for 3 weeks.
- 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 24% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
- Sellers who definitely would use same agent again: 69%
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics
- FSBOs accounted for 7% of home sales in 2017. The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales.
- FSBO methods used to market home:
- Yard sign: 22%
- Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 18%
- Online classified advertisements: 6%
- Open house: 10%
- For-sale-by-owner websites: 5%
- Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 12%
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 4%
- Print newspaper advertisement: 2%
- Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 2%
- Video: 1%
- None: Did not actively market home: 49%
- Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:
- Getting the right price: 17%
- Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
- Selling within the planned length of time: 5%
- Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 8%
- Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 3%
Other Recommended Sources for Data on Real Estate:
The Economists’ Outlook blog provides insight into NAR Research’s reports and analyzes how various economic indicators affect the real estate market.
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