Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers: Reasons to Buy

  • Although the demographics of home buyers often shift to reflect changes in the market, the motivations to make a home purchase are largely constant from year to year. The primary reason to purchase a home remains the desire to own a home of one’s own.
  • Nearly a third of all home buyers cited this as their reason to purchase a home in 2012, and 60 percent of first-time home buyers cited this as their primary reason to buy.
  • Repeat buyers are less likely to be motivated by the desire to simply own their own home and more likely to make a purchase as a result of changing circumstances: both the desire for a larger home and the need to relocate for a job or move were reasons cited most often.
  • Other popular reasons to buy included the desire to be closer to family and friends, as well as a change in family situation.
  • Among age groups of home buyers, there was a clear tendency for younger buyers to be more inclined to buy because of the desire to own a home, while older buyers (those in the 65 and older category) cited the desire to be closer to family and friends and retirement as the primary reasons to buy.

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Meredith Dunn, Research Communications Manager

Meredith Dunn, Research Communications Representative, manages Real Estate INSIGHTS, the Research Update, and assists in managing Research content on as well as on various social media sites. She also produces video content for the multimedia portion of the Research site.

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