Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

The Home Search Process (2004-2013)

Looking at the interactive graph below, there is an obvious increase of people who started their home search online. Indeed, the share of people using the Internet has increased by 28% since 2004. In 2013, 48% of first-time home buyers and 40% of repeat home buyers used the Internet in their home search process.

Real estate agents are mostly preferred by first-time homebuyers for their initial housing search. Especially last year, there was an increase of the first-time home buyers who asked for the services of a real estate agent. This trend shows how increasingly important is the role of real estate agents when there is limited inventory on the market.

Hover over the line graph to see the distribution for each one of the types of home buyers. If you are interested in a particular type of home buyer, please tap on it (see list on the top right corner of the dashboard).

At state level, in Nevada (2013), Arizona (2011, repeat home buyers) and South Carolina (2004, first-time home buyers) more than 60% of the home buyers preferred to use a real estate agent when they first started their home search. Conversely, New Hampshire (2013), Kentucky (2013, repeat home buyers) and Massachusetts (2013 and 2011, first-time home buyers) had more than 60% of home buyers who started searching for home online.
Please select your state and see what the first step in the home buying process was for your state.

Next Release:
2014 Home Buyers and Sellers Survey will be released in November and we will look for any fresh trends in the data.

Data were used from the Home Buyers and Sellers Surveys for the period 2004-2013. The sample includes home purchases for primary residence use only. In order to be considered, a state needed to have sufficient response data for each one of the types of home purchase (first-time and repeat).

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