What Does Today’s Real Estate Buyer Look Like?

Here are 3 statistics about real estate buyers from this year that we will focus on today (source: National Association of REALTORS):

50 Miles

50 Miles is the median distance between the home recent buyers purchased and prior residence.

The range pre-2021 was 10-15 miles. Wow.

Sign up for our FREE newsletter
and receive our best trading ideas and research

96% Online

Nearly all buyers used online tools in the search process, at nearly 96%.

4 of 5 Only Online

Buyers looked at a median of 5 homes, and viewed 4 homes online.

So what is this data telling us?

Habits are changing and they are changing fast. This week’s data was from our review of the National Association of Realtors latest survey. I wanted to understand the direction of real estate better as it remains a sector filled with friction. That friction is a problem, and problems are meant to be solved.

One standout statistic was the distance between the home purchased versus the prior residence. Since 2005, the distance ranged from 10 to 15 miles, however this jumped up to 60 miles this year! That is a significant change.

home buyers median distance moved for new home year 2022 chart

This change is likely caused by several factors. Here are a couple thoughts on this:

1. More hybrid work allows employees to live farther from a physical work location. This will probably lead to a greater dependency on work collaboration tools.

2. Sellers are taking advantage of prices. Higher prices and an aging seller is incentivizing sellers to move into lower priced areas as a price arbitrage. Here is another stat. The typical home seller was 60 years old, an increase from 56 last year.

The other two stats mentioned highlight the opportunity as buyers and sellers continue to adopt digital tools to help guide their real estate journey. As these tools improve, more and more transaction activity is likely to occur digitally (i.e. touring, financing, closing).

Twitter:  @_SeanDavid

The author or his firm may have positions in mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.