The kinds of houses buyers opted for this year

by Emily Marek

New construction accounted for increased share of home purchases this year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Per NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which shows insights into the types of homes buyers choose and how their preferences change annually, 13% of homes purchased this year were new construction, up roughly one percentage point from last year. Thirty-eight percent of buyers who opted for previously owned homes did so because of the reduced price point, up from 31% in 2022.

New construction wasn’t the only thing on the rise in 2023, though. Buyers’ desire to avoid homes with plumbing and electrical issues also increased by 4% year over year, with nearly half of buyers keen on finding new homes that didn’t need utility-related renovations.

Detached single-family homes remained the most popular type of housing, making up 79% of all home purchases during the past year. The second-most popular home type was townhomes or row houses at only 8%.

Overall, the typical home purchased this year was 1,860 square feet and was built in 1985; most also had three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Senior-related housing — defined by NAR as housing restricted to people aged 60 or older — skyrocketed during the year, accounting for 19% of purchases, up from 7% last year. A majority of these senior buyers purchased condominiums, followed by townhomes or row houses as the second-most popular option.

The typical buyer found a new home a median distance of 20 miles from their old residence. Last year, buyers moved a median of 50 miles — prior to the pandemic, however, the norm was about a 15-mile move.

More than half of buyers cited neighborhood quality as the determining factor for location of their home, with 60% considering it in their purchase. That was closely followed by proximity to family and friends at 45% and affordability at 39%.

When it comes to prices, a majority of 2023 buyers paid 100% of the asking price, while a quarter of buyers paid more than the asking price.

Not particularly interested in starting up the buying or selling process again too soon, the typical 2023 buyer plans to stay in their new home for at least 15 years — but 22% said they plan to never move again, down from 28% in 2022.



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