Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers: Reasons to Buy

  • Although the demographics of home buyers often shift to reflect changes in the market, the motivations to make a home purchase are largely constant from year to year. The primary reason to purchase a home remains the desire to own a home of one’s own.
  • Nearly a third of all home buyers cited this as their reason to purchase a home in 2012, and 60 percent of first-time home buyers cited this as their primary reason to buy.
  • Repeat buyers are less likely to be motivated by the desire to simply own their own home and more likely to make a purchase as a result of changing circumstances: both the desire for a larger home and the need to relocate for a job or move were reasons cited most often.
  • Other popular reasons to buy included the desire to be closer to family and friends, as well as a change in family situation.
  • Among age groups of home buyers, there was a clear tendency for younger buyers to be more inclined to buy because of the desire to own a home, while older buyers (those in the 65 and older category) cited the desire to be closer to family and friends and retirement as the primary reasons to buy.
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