Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

A Unique Home Buying Demographic: Active Military & Veterans

Active military and veterans comprised 21 percent of all home buyers in 2015 ̶ a sizable subset worth exploring their purchasing preferences, according to NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report released in November 2015.

Let’s take a quick look at the demographics for these two groups combined. The median age for this subgroup was 48, whereas active military was typically 34 years old and veterans were 61 years. The median price of a home they purchased was $223,000, which is consistent with all buyers. Twenty-eight percent were first-time home buyers and 81 percent bought previously owned homes. Active military and veterans were most likely to buy single-family homes at 86 percent. However, only 85 percent worked directly with an agent or broker, slightly down from 88 percent compared to all buyers.

Unique Facts about Active Military and Veterans:

  • 18 percent bought multigenerational homes compared to 13 percent for all buyers
  • 21 percent were relocated due to a job compared to only eight percent for all buyers
  • Median income for active military and veterans is $79,500, which is lower than $86,100 for all buyers
  • Median home size purchased was 2,100 square feet whereas the median for all buyers was 1,900
  • 41 percent of this group used virtual tours to help them purchase their home, more than any other demographic group

Veterans relocated to three areas of the country more often than any other region, including the West North Central, East South Central, and the Mountain region. These three regions combined encompass the central part of the United States where the states are less densely populated and away from large metropolitan cities on either the east or west coast.

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