Skip to main content

This is who homebuyers really are right now (and what they’re buying)

Who are home buyers and what are they looking for? A new report provides major, market-shifting insights

The last year has seen a major shake-up in the home-buying landscape. And, in some cases, people buying a house helped break demographic records, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

The average age of a first-time home buyer was 36 years old, a new record since NAR began tracking data.

a beautiful home at sunset
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Other key findings on home-buyer demographics from the report, released Nov. 3, include:

  • The share of people buying a house for the first time was 26%, down from 34% last year and the lowest figure since NAR started tracking.
  • Though 61% of recent home buyers were married, 10% were not — that’s also a record.
  • The percentage of White/Caucasian (88%) and Hispanic/LatinX (8%) grew. The share of racial and ethnic groups buying homes declined (3% were Black/African American, 2% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3% checked off other). 

Where are home buyers buying? Distance and location mattered in the last year.

  • The median distance for a move for recent buyers was 50 miles, which is three times higher than the 15-mile median posted from 2018-21. It marks another all-time high.
  • The shares of homes purchased in small towns (29%) and rural areas (19%) also reached new heights.

What were home buyers looking for?

  • Most purchased a previously owned home (88%) rather than a new one (12%).
  • A detached single-family home was once again the top pick for recent buyers (79%)
  • 41% of recent buyers didn’t want to deal with renovations or issues with electricity or plumbing.
  • Price was a factor for people purchasing previously owned homes. 31% of these home buyers reported considering a better price.
  • Nearly half (49%) said the neighborhood quality was the most significant factor. Convenience to friends and family and overall affordability were considered by 37% of home buyers as the most important.
  • The average home purchased recently was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,800-square-foot home built in 1986.

If you recently got new neighbors, don’t expect them to move anywhere anytime soon. Buyers reported they believed they’d live in their homes for a median period of 15 years. About one-third (28%) don’t plan on moving. 

Finally, per usual, most buyers (86%) and sellers (87%) enlisted a real estate agent to help them buy or sell their homes. The vast majority reported being very satisfied by their agent’s knowledge, honesty, and integrity. Nearly 90% of buyers (89%) and sellers (85%) raved that they’d recommend their agent to other people. NAR president Leslie Rouda Smith indicated that realtors provided a calming and assuring presence in an ever-changing market.

The report is based on nearly 4,900 responses to a 129-question survey sent to primary residence buyers. The full report looks at the following:

  • Characteristics of home buyers
  • Characteristics of purchased homes
  • The home search profession
  • Home buying and real estate professionals
  • Financing
  • The selling experience, including the use of real estate professionals
  • For sale by owner (FSBO) sellers

Affordability, race, and inventory were cited as reasons for the shifts in home buying.

BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
The 12 best travel shows to stream right now
Travel shows can give you every different kind of envy, but the best travel shows can also offer immersion

A great travel show can be almost as great as great travel itself. There's nothing like the real thing, of course, but for those on a budget or those looking for travel recommendations, travel shows and documentaries can be very helpful. We've put together an amazing list of shows to stream about all of the beautiful, strange, and mysterious places in the world, including some you wouldn’t go to even if you could.
Featuring food and cooking, comedy, drama, and some celebrity appearances, you’ll see the world from an entirely new perspective. Travel shows can inspire, captivate, and above all else, remind us of how vast and wonderful the world really is.

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (2017)

Read more
The best competitive cooking shows to watch right now – from Pressure Cooker to MasterChef
Let these top cooking shows inspire you in the kitchen
The scene from the show Barbecue Showdown

Food Fight! No, not the messy one of your youth that involved hurling lunch across the room and subsequent detention. We're talking about the competitive cooking show, television's greatest culinary challenge.

These shows have come a long way. From the early days of Food Network to today, we've seen tremendous growth in this food-tastic style of game show. Now, a good showing on one of these popular programs can land you a serious role at one of the best restaurants in America.

Read more
The 16 best Netflix Original movies for you to watch right now
From Power of the Dog to Okja, these are the best films that Netflix has produced since it first launched
Bo Burnham in Inside

When it became the first major streaming service, Netflix was best known for being host to a wide array of great movies and shows that had been produced by other studios. As it continued its rise to the top, though, Netflix also began to produce its own content, including some truly excellent Netflix Original movies.
In fact, Netflix has produced a number of great movies over the course of its history as a studio and even financed some movies that might not have been made otherwise. This is not to say that everything Netflix has ever made has been great, but when they hit, they really hit.
We’ve handpicked a list of the best movies to stream right now on Netflix that the streamer made itself. You can also check out our list of the best Hulu series, best Amazon Prime series, and best Disney Plus series for more options.

The Killer (2023)

Read more