Dual Income Households Driving Housing Market

Orlando, FL, Nov. 12, 2012 -- Dual income households are comprising a greater portion of the housing market and helping sales recover, according to an annual study by the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR said that 65% of all buyers are married couples, 16% are single women, 9% single men, 8% unmarried couples and 2% other.

However, just two years ago, 58% of buyers were married, 20% were single women, 12% single men and 7% unmarried couples; the overall market share of single buyers declined a total of 7%age points over the past two years.  Before 2010, the market shares moved within a very narrow range, generally a%age point or two.

Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of research, said the study is painting a clearer picture of the impact of mortgage limitations.  “We’ve known for some time that stringent mortgage credit standards have been holding back home sales, but these findings show single buyers have been hurt the most over the past two years.  Total home sales would be 10 to 15% higher without these unnecessary headwinds,” he said.

First-time home buyers edged up to a 39% market share in the past year from 37% in the 2011 study.  Long-term survey averages show that four out of 10 buyers are typically first-time buyers, who are critical to a housing recovery because they help existing home owners to sell and make a trade.

The study shows the median age of first-time buyers was 31 and the median income was $61,800.  The typical first-time buyer purchased a 1,600 square-foot home costing $154,100, while the typical repeat buyer was 51 years old and earned $93,100.  Repeat buyers purchased a median 2,100-square foot home costing $220,000.



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