HouseHunt, Inc. reported that 50% of homes purchased in the U.S. for the third quarter of 2008 were by first-time buyers.

Here’s a summary of other findings in the survey.

  • Buyers searched a median of 10 weeks and viewed 10 homes
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 buyers consider their home a good investment
  • Nearly 50% see their home as a better investment than stock
  • Median age of home sellers was 47
  • Around 75% of sellers were married couples, had been in their home six years and moved a median distance of 19 miles
  • 42% of sellers offered incentives to attract buyers
  • Typical home sold for 96% of listing price.
  • 52% of buyers were trading up, 22% were downsizing.
  • 81% of sellers used full-service brokerage.
  • 9% chose limited brokerage service.
  • 9% used minimal service (such as listing on a multiple listing service.)
  • 87% of buyers used the internet to search for a home.
  • 48% of buyers attended open houses. (looks like open houses are on the way out) 
  • 47% looked at print or newspaper ads. (same with newspapers) 
  • Fewer rely on home book/magazine, home builders, television, billboards and relocation companies
  • 34% of buyers first learned of the home they purchased from an agent
  • 32% first learned of the home from the internet
  • 15% first learned of the home from a yard sign
  • 7% learned of the home from a friend, 7% from builders, 3% from print ad, 2% directly from seller and 1% from a home book/magazine
  • 87% of home buyers who used the internet to search purchased their home with a real estate agent
  • 75% of respondents purchased a detached single-family home
  • 55% of all homes purchased were in a suburb or subdivision
  • 17% of homes purchased were in urban areas
  • 16% of all homes purchased were in a small town
  • 10% of homes were in a rural area
  • 13% of transactions were for-sale-by-owner
  • Median home price for sellers who used an agent was $211,000
  • Median home price for sold-by-owner homes was $153,000 (however, unassisted sellers were more likely to be in a rural area/small town, home was more likely to be a mobile or manufactured home, and owner’s average income was lower than that of sellers using agents)
  • Only 1% of sellers chose an agent based on his or her commission. (I thought this would be a lot higher)
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