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Share of first-time buyers smallest ever in 2022

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has released its 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, which analyzes sales made between July 2021 and June 2022.

First-time buyers made up 26 percent of all buyers, down from 34 percent in 2021 and the lowest share since data collection began.

The age of typical first-time and repeat homebuyers climbed to all-time highs at 36 and 59 years old, respectively.

The median expected home tenure for first-time buyers was 18 years, the highest ever recorded and up from ten years in 2021.

The median distance recent buyers moved was 50 miles, the highest ever recorded. From 2018 through 2021, the median distance moved was just 15 miles.

The shares of buyers who purchased homes in small towns (29 percent) and rural areas (19 percent) were the highest ever recorded. Homes purchased in suburban (39 percent) and urban (10 percent) locations declined over the year.

​This year, 88 percent of buyers were white and 8 percent were Hispanic/Latino, both higher than in 2021. Three percent were black, 2 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3 percent identified as other.

At 22 percent, the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own. For first-time buyers, this number jumps to 62 percent.

The median number of weeks that buyers searched for a home was ten, an increase from eight weeks in 2020 and 2021. Home buyers typically purchased their homes for 100 percent of the asking price, with 28 percent purchasing for more than asking price.

Seventy-eight percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase, down nine percentage points from last year and driven by the increased share of repeat buyers who paid all cash. The typical down payments for first-time and repeat buyers were 6 and 17 percent, respectively.

The median age of home sellers was 60 years, up from 56 years one year ago. Sellers typically lived in their home for ten years before selling.  

The majority of buyers (86 percent) and sellers (87 percent) hired a real estate agent or broker to purchase or sell their homes. Nine in ten buyers said they were very satisfied with their agent’s knowledge of the purchase process, and their agent’s honesty, integrity, and knowledge of the real estate market.

Less than 1 percent of sellers sold their home to an iBuyer. 

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