On October 31st, NAR will release the 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. NAR has been producing this survey research report since 1981. To mark the 35th year of publication, we will be highlighting some of the key trends gleaned from the Profile series with new infographics and trendlines.
The report has grown and evolved with changing home buying trends and the need for more information. The 1981 survey was just 59 questions long. The 2016 survey contained 132 questions. Although the report has evolved, data has been collected for more than three decades describing the demographic characteristics of home buyers and sellers, buyers and sellers experience in the home transaction process as well as market characteristics including the use of real estate agents. One measure of how the market has changed is the manner in which the data is collected. In 1981 only a paper copy of the survey was offered. Today recent home buyers can take the survey via paper or online, and in English or Spanish. Because of its long history and timely information available each year, the report is valued by REALTORS®, market analysts and policymakers.
Data is collected from a nationally representative sample of recent home buyers who purchased a primary residence in the 12-month period between July and June. Data is also representative of the geographic distribution of home sales. Consumer names are obtained from Experian, a firm that maintains an extensive database of recent home buyers derived from county records.
Today the data set provides such a wealth of data that it is used to create a number of “spin-off” reports including: Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, Recent Home Buyer Profiles, Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in Sub-regions, Real Estate in a Digital Age, Veterans and Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, and Moving with Kids.
To jump start the anniversary we begin with a trendline collected since 1981 showing the method sellers uses to sell their home. Today there is an overwhelming use of real estate agents in the home selling transaction. In 2015, a high of 89 percent of sellers opted to sell their home with the help of a real estate agent. Just eight percent of sellers sold via FSBO—the lowest share recorded since 1981.
Follow along with new content for the anniversary with the hashtag #NARHBSat35.