Five Traits of Today's Homebuyers

Posted by Mark Washburn on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 4:37pm.

The article quoted below about the five traits of today's homesbuyers is very interesting and yet not neccesarily aligned with the homebuyer traits here in the District. 

A survey by American Lives, a consumer research firm in California, conducted a study for the trade magazine Builder to answer that question. Here are their conclusions:

  • They are young. Most are under 45. Half said they had annual household incomes of $75,000 or less. Two-thirds are married.  >>>Most of our DC buyers fit the age profile highlighted in the article with the overwhelming majority in the under 45 age grouping.  The incomes are higher in the District and the percentage that are married is significantly lower.
  • They are frugal. They consistently told surveyors they were eager to live a simple lifestyle.  >>>The majority of our DC buyers are not frugal with many stretching for the best finishes, addresses and amenities....Pogenpohl Cabinets, marble counters and 24-hour concierges are not the trappings of a frugal buyer.
  • They are concerned about their financial future. About 70 percent said the economy is “not so good” with 27 percent saying it was getting worse and 27 percent saying it was getting better, and two-thirds saying it would get better in a year. Some 55 percent said they were concerned that they might lose their jobs.>>>Many of our buyers have come to DC for the outstanding career opportunities available in this market.  For the most part they are optimistic about their careers and the future.
  • They see themselves as energy efficient but not necessarily “green.” About 32 percent said they’d pay extra for energy-efficient features but only 16 percent said they’d pay extra for recycled or renewable construction materials.  >>>A growing segment of our buyers are car-less and plan to stay this way for the foreseeable future.  These buyers are attracted to the walkable DC neighborhoods like Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, the West End and the Penn Quarter.  We are fortunate to live in such a walkable city.  To date, buyers are not asking to see green listings or energy efficient buildings, location and amenities are much more of a priority.
  • Neighborhood is important. Ninety-five percent said they thought the community was as important as the home itself. Seventy-nine percent wanted the most square footage they could afford, but 69 percent said they’d consider a smaller home in the right neighborhood.  >>>Neighborhood reigns supreme for DC buyers. Many are willing to sacrifice square footage to be in the neighborhood of choice.

Source: Inman News, Mary Umberger (10/27/2010)

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