The Latest Facts and Figures about Buyers and Sellers in Florida
What does the typical Florida home buyer or seller look like?
Each year, the National Association of Realtors does a deep dive into who’s buying and selling homes. The facts and figures about buyers and sellers in Florida included in the report offer insights into the Sunshine State’s unique housing market.
Here are some highlights from the latest report from 2018:
Characteristics of Florida Home Buyers
- First-time buyers made up 33 percent of all home buyers, a decrease from last year’s 34 percent. In Florida, 24 percent were first-time buyers.
- The typical buyer was 46 years old this year, and the median household income for 2017 rose again this year to $91,600. In Florida, buyers were 57 years old and have a median income of $85,000.
- Sixty-three percent of recent buyers were married couples, 18 percent were single females, seven percent were single males, and nine percent were unmarried couples. In Florida, 63 percent were married couples, 19 percent were single females, eight percent were single males, and six percent were unmarried couples.
- Twelve percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, for cost savings, and because of children over the age of 18 moving back home. In Florida, that share was 12 percent.
- Eighty-nine percent of recent home buyers identified as heterosexual, four percent as gay or lesbian, one percent as bisexual, and seven percent preferred not to answer. In Florida, 89 percent identified as heterosexual, five percent as gay or lesbian, and one percent as bisexual.
- Eighteen percent of recent home buyers are veterans and three percent are active-duty service members. Twenty-one percent are veterans and three are active-duty service members in Florida. · At 29 percent, the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own. In Florida, this was 25 percent.
Characteristics of Florida Homes Purchased
- Buyers of new homes made up 14 percent and buyers of previously owned homes made up 86 percent. In Florida, this share is 20 percent for new homes and 80 percent for previously owned homes.
- Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 38 percent. Buyers who purchased previously owned homes were most often considering a better price at 32 percent. In Florida, 36 percent of new home buyers were looking to avoid renovations or problems with plumbing or electricity and 37 percent of previously owned homes were looking for a better overall value.
- Detached single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recent buyers at 82 percent, followed by eight percent of buyers choosing town homes or row houses. In Florida, buyers bought single-family homes at 80 percent.
- Senior related housing stayed the same this year at 13 percent, with 18 percent of buyers typically purchasing condos and eleven percent purchasing a townhouse or row house. 23 percent bought senior related homes in Florida.
- There was a median of only 15 miles between the homes that recent buyers purchased and the homes that they moved from. In Florida, it was 21 miles.
- Home prices increased slightly this year to a median of $250,000 among all buyers. Buyers typically purchased their homes for 99 percent of the asking price. In Florida, the median home price was $244,500 at 98 percent of the asking price.
- The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,900 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1991. In Florida, the typical home was 1,860 square feet and built in 1998.
- Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 15 years, while 19 percent say that they are never moving. In Florida, that number is 15 years.
The home search process
- For 44 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale, while 17 percent of buyers first contacted a real estate agent. In Florida, 39 percent looked online first and 19 percent contacted a real estate agent.
- Seventy-eight percent of recent buyers found their real estate agent to be a very useful information source. Online websites were seen as the most useful information source at 88 percent. Seventy-nine percent found real estate agents and 90 percent found website useful in the home search process in Florida.
- Buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes. In Florida, buyers searched for 10 weeks and looked at 10 homes.
- The typical buyer who did not use the internet during their home search spent only four weeks searching and visited four homes, compared to those who did use the internet and searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes. In Florida, those who did not search the internet looked at five homes over eight weeks.
- Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 87 percent of buyers found photos and 85 percent found detailed information about properties for sale very useful. In Florida, 85 percent found photos useful in their home search process.
- Sixty-two percent of recent buyers were very satisfied with their recent home buying process, up from 61 percent a year ago. In Florida, 64 percent were very satisfied with the process.
Home buying and real estate professionals
- Eighty-seven percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, and six percent purchased directly from a builder or builder’s agent. In Florida, 87 percent purchased through a real estate agent.
- Having an agent to help them find the right home was what buyers wanted most when choosing an agent at 52 percent. In Florida, 54 percent worked with an agent to find the right home.
- Forty-one percent of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative and 12 percent used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home. In Florida, 34 percent used referrals to find their real estate agent.
- Sixty-eight percent of buyers interviewed only one real estate agent during their home search. In Florida, this was 60 percent.
- Ninety percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others. Ninety percent would recommend their agent again in Florida.
Financing the home purchase
- Eighty-eight percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase on a national level and 81 percent in Florida. Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 87 percent and in Florida it was 84 percent.
- First-time buyers who financed their home typically financed 93 percent of their home compared to repeat buyers at 84 percent. In Florida, the share was 90 percent of first time buyers and 80 percent of repeat buyers.
- For 58 percent of buyers, the source of the down payment came from their savings. Thirty-nine percent of buyers cited using the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence, which was the next most commonly reported way of securing a down payment. In Florida, 62 percent used savings and 18 percent used proceeds from sale of a primary residence.
- For 13 percent of buyers, the most difficult step in the home buying process was saving for a down payment. In Florida, 9 percent said saving was the most difficult step.
- Of buyers who said saving for a down payment was difficult, 50 percent of buyers reported that student loans made saving for a down payment difficult. Thirty-seven percent cited credit card debt, and 35 percent cited car loans as also making saving for a down payment hard. In Florida, 39 percent reported having student loan debt, 57 percent had credit card debt, and 47 percent had car loans.
- Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Eighty-four percent reported they view a home purchase as a good investment and 85 percent in Florida.
Home sellers and their selling experience
- The typical home seller was 55 years old, with a median household income of $98,800. In Florida, the median age was 61 years with a median income of $90,500.
- For all sellers, the most commonly cited reason for selling their home was that it was too small (15 percent), followed by the desire to move closer to friends and family (14 percent), and a job relocation (13 percent). In Florida, the reasons were moving due to retirement (17 percent), followed by a job relocation (12 percent), home is too small (12 percent), and the desire to move closer to friends and family (12 percent).
- Sellers typically lived in their home for 9 years before selling, down from as last year. In Florida, sellers sold after 10 years.
- Ninety-one percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home and 87 percent in Florida.
- For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median 99 percent of the final listing price and in Florida it was 98 percent.
- Recently sold homes were on the market for a median of three weeks, the same as last year and three weeks in Florida.
- Thirty-seven percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers; this was 26 percent in Florida.
- This year, home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $55,500 more than they purchased it. In Florida, the median was $41,500.
- Sixty-four percent of sellers were very satisfied with the selling process and 67 percent in Florida.
Home selling and real estate professionals
- Sixty-three percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home. In Florida, that figure was 64 percent.
- Seventy-five percent of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home. In Florida, it was 71 percent.
- Ninety percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home. In Florida, it was 89 percent.
- Seventy-seven percent of sellers reported that they provided the agent’s compensation and at 84 percent in Florida.
- The typical seller has recommended their agent once since selling their home. Thirty-two percent of sellers recommended their agent three or more times since selling their home. In Florida, this share was 34 percent.
- Eighty-five percent said that they would definitely (69 percent) or probably (17 percent) recommend their agent for future services. In Florida, 71 percent said definitely and 16 percent said probably.