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Stowe, VT On Real Estate with McKee Macdonald

This week's edition of the Stowe Reporter featured McKee's monthly real estate article.  This month McKee explored first time home buyers.  Here's a copy of the article:

First-Time Home Buyers, looking at the facts.

It has been over a year since the expiration of the Home Buyer Tax Credit; it's time to reexamine what statistics make up the current first-time home buyer. 

According to Ron Phipps, 2011 National Association of Realtors President, "First-time home buyers fell to a 37 percent market share in the past year from a record high of 50 percent in the 2010 study."  This drop off is directly related to the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.  Phipps goes on to say "Long-term survey averages show that four out of 10 buyers are typically first-time buyers."

Who are these buyers, how do they purchase and what motivates them?

  • Median age of first-time is 31 and median income is $62,400
  • 48% are married couples, 23% single women, 15% single male
  • 68% have no children, 18% have one child, 11% have two children
  • 94% chose a fixed-rate mortgage, 54% financed with low-downpayment FHA mortgage and 6% used a VA loan with no downpayment
  • 60% state "desire to own their own home" as their driving factor in purchasing
  • 95% stated being able to personalize their own space and growing value over time as the main benefits of homeownership

The majority of first-time buyers' purchase in urban or suburban areas, but there are three other categories where first-time buyers do purchase that apply to the Stowe area. 

  • 16% purchase in a small town
  • 11% in a rural area
  • 3% in a resort or recreation area

How do these buyers find the homes they purchase?

  • 88% use the Internet
  • 87% use a real estate professional
  • 55% yard signs (not allowed in Stowe)
  • 30% print or newspaper ad

The following is a more in-depth understanding as to where first-time buyers actually identify the home they ended up purchasing.

  • 40% used the internet
  • 35% used a real estate professional
  • 6% from a neighbor, friend or relative
  • 5% from home builder
  • 2% print or newspaper ad
  • Less than 1% from a home book or magazine

While Stowe caters to many different types of purchasers, the fact that the sub $500K price point makes up 55% of the local market, makes it clear first-time buyers remain an important part of the marketplace. 


Sources: 2011 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers; Coldwell Banker

To view the article online, click here.