The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has published its 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report which features real estate trends and survey statistics from the past year. This is the 36th edition of the report, and is the longest-running source for national housing data regarding the demographics, preferences, motivations and experiences of recent homebuyers and sellers.
The report found that 34 percent of buyer were first-time homebuyers, which is down from the 2016 mark of 35 percent. This figure is the fourth-lowest since NAR began this report in 1981. The report also showed that down payments have decreased for first-time buyers, to 5 percent down from 6 percent as the age of first-time buyers remained flat at 32 years old.

The dreams of many aspiring first-time buyers were unfortunately dimmed over the past year by persistent inventory shortages, which undercut their ability to become homeowners,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a press release issued by NAR “With the lower end of the market seeing the worst of the supply crunch, house hunters faced mounting odds in finding their first home. Multiple offers were a common occurrence, investors paying in cash had the upper hand, and prices kept climbing, which yanked homeownership out of reach for countless would-be buyers.”

The report indicated that 87 percent of buyers used a real estate agent when purchasing a home, and an all-time high of 89 percent of sellers used an agent when listing their property. As a result, for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sales hit an all-time low share of 8 percent in 2017.

The full report is available for purchase on the NAR website, with a discounted price for NAR members. NAR also posted downloadable highlights from the report as well as an infographic for buyers and a sellers infographic.

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