Priority Shift

In 1981, the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana took place. NASA launched the very first space shuttle mission (Columbia). Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted. The first DeLorean DMC-12 sports car was introduced and in April, MTV was born. The average cost of a new home was $78,200, average annual income was $21,050 and yes, here it comes… a gallon of gasoline was $1.25. Sorry, I had to throw that in.

Demographics of home buying trends have also changed over the years. The median age of a first time home buyer was 29 years old. Today is 33. There’s a staggering increase in unmarried couples purchasing their first home and finding the American Dream. In 1981, unmarried couples accounted for 1% of home purchases. Today 17% of first time home buyers are unmarried. This decline in married couple homeownership mirrors the U.S. Census Bureau data declining rates of married couples overall. Shout out to all the ‘single ladies’ who showed an increase of home ownership from 12% – 20%. Many of these trends over the past four decades have been slowly evolving. Most recently, more significant shifts in priorities and buying trends have been visible.

The global pandemic has had its effect on shifting priorities through homeownership. Although the quality of the neighborhood remains at the top priority, the pandemic has shifted buyer priority favoring the proximity to family and friends over convenience to work. With the ability to work remotely, many buyers are fleeing larger cities for a slower, quieter pace. With this shift comes a desire for more square footage. As all buyers across the board showed a want for a larger home, statistics show this shift is supported mostly by married couples with children under the age of 18. Since 1981, the median age of homebuyers is notably higher, rising from 31 to 45 years old. Buyers are less likely to have children. According to the CDC, U.S. births are down 4% from 2019 and is the 6th consecutive year that the birth rate has declined and is at the lowest number of births since 1979. Additionally, 44% of non-parents under the age of 50 have stated that they are “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to have children. The percentage of buyers with children under the age of 18 dropped to 31% in 2021… this is the lowest level since 1981.
Since the introduction of the internet and other news sources, you have the ability to know (probably more than you need to know) current events. There’s a number of various sites with fluctuating averages for home prices. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the 202 national median cost of a new home is $374,900.00. And the website census.gov states the median household income in the U.S. is $67,521.00. You may draw your own conclusions and theories to these statistics. I’ve stated before…my job is to provide you the tools and resources so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Until next week, Love where you Live. Andi if you don’t….contact your local REALTOR®.

*Statistics supported by NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and other cited resources.

Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President

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