Who are Texas’ homebuyers?

A recent study of buyers and sellers in Texas has revealed some interesting details about how who our clients are, what they want from us, and how their motivations are changing. Here are our favorite highlights from the 35th Annual Home Buyers and Sellers Survey provided by NAR.

Who you are and what you do is important. Honesty and reputation are the most important factors when choosing an agent. Keep that in mind because 29 percent of buyers contact at least two agents before settling on one. Thirty-nine percent of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative. That’s proof that providing your clients with superb service pays off! Being responsive to inquiries is also important. Seventy percent of buyers choose the first agent they contact to help them. You’re probably losing business if you’re not following up on leads.

Characteristics of Texas Home Buyers

  • First-time buyers made up 30 percent of all home buyers. Historically, this number has typically been closer to 40 percent.
  • The typical buyer was 46 years old and had a median income of $94,200.
  • Sixty-six percent of recent buyers were married couples, 19 percent were single females, nine percent were single males, and four percent were unmarried couples.
  • Fifteen percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, for cost savings, and because of children over the age of 18 moving back home.
  • Ninety three percent of recent home buyers identified as heterosexual, and two percent as gay or lesbian.
  • Twenty-three percent of recent home buyers are veterans and one percent are active-duty service members in Texas.
  • The primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home in 27 percent of cases.
  • Twenty three 23 percent bought new homes and 77 percent were in the market for previously owned homes.
  • Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 38 percent and 33 percent of buyers of previously owned homes were looking for a better price.
  • Detached single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recent buyers at 87 percent.
  • Senior housing purchases accounted for seven percent of home sales in Texas.
  • There was a median of 15 miles between the homes that recent buyers purchased and the homes that they moved from.
  • In Texas, the median home price was $214,000. Buyers typically purchased their homes for 100 percent of the asking price.
  • In Texas, the typical home purchased was 2,060 square feet and built in 2003.
  • Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 10 years.

The Home Search Process

  • For 44 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale. In Texas, 29 percent first contacted a real estate agent.
  • Eighty-two percent found online websites to be very useful in the home search process, and 80 percent felt that way about real estate agents in Texas.
  • Buyers typically searched for 8 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes.
  •  The typical buyer who did not use the internet during their home search spent only four weeks searching and visited four homes, compared to those who did use the internet and searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes. In Texas, those who did no search the internet looked at five homes over three weeks.
  • Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 93 percent found photos useful in their home search process.
  • In Texas, 59 percent of recent buyers were very satisfied with the buying process.

Financing the Home Purchase

  • Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 94 percent.
  • First-time buyers who financed their home typically financed 95 percent of their home compared to repeat buyers at 87 percent.
  • For 85 percent of buyers, the source of the down payment came from their savings. Thirty-eight percent used a gift from a relative or friend.
  • Twenty four percent of buyers saved for their down payment for six months or less.
  • The most difficult step in the home buying process was saving for a down payment, as cited by 11 percent of respondents.
  • Of buyers who said saving for a down payment was difficult, 36 percent of buyers reported that student loans made saving for a down payment difficult. Thirty six percent cited credit card debt, 32 percent cited child care costs, and 32 percent cited health care costs as making saving for a down payment hard.
  • Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Ninety one percent reported they view a home purchase as a good investment.

Read the full 2016 Texas Buyers & Sellers report