June 10, 2012

Round Up the Usual Suspects

Sometimes a real estate website will ask us to pass along some content they think might be of general interest.  Have a look at this “analysis” of home buyers from Movoto.


The Usual Suspects: Breakdown of American Home Buyers

Who is the typical home buyer? The answer isn’t surprising. According to National Association of Realtors, the largest category home buyers are married couples. After this it’s single females, single males, and unmarried couples.

But that doesn’t mean each group looks for the same thing. Below are the four largest groups of home buyers. How do you compare?

120609-breakdown-nar-reportThe infographic itself (the above image is just one item from it) appears in the Movoto blog entry before the introductory paragraphs we quoted above. That’s a pity.  In the graphic, we don’t learn until the very bottom that the information it’s based on comes from those brilliant housing geniuses from the National Association of Realtards.  NAR is the wellspring of unbiased, spin-free information from professional real estate agents who have your best interests as their number one priority, that is if by “your best interests” I actually mean “their maximum profit.”

See the full infographic when you click on through, plus a few more comments from us.  But there’s more inside that NAR report than what Movoto offered, so perhaps we’ll be cherry-picking our own observations from this “study” at some point.  And of course, we welcome your observations.  Catch you on the other side.

120609-breakdown-testingOkay, did anyone actually learn anything from the above?  We observe that the unmarried couple subtype at left got jettisoned in favor of the LGBTQ couple above after we were given an early look at the graphic.

The “What they care about in neighborhoods” section is a waste of space.  Every single group lists the same five items in almost the exact same order.  Couples value being close to work more than singles, probably because they have someone to come home to.  (Heck, the workaholic single male subtype would probably skip the house and crash on a couch at work.)

Now wouldn’t it have been more useful if there were a demographic group that doesn’t give a crap about “quality of the neighborhood” (whatever that means) and their first priority is something tangible such as “Coffee shop within 50 feet” or “Access to strip clubs”?  And we’re certainly surprised that even the married couple didn’t rank “Quality of Schools” anywhere on the list.  Obviously none of the people profiled here live in the RBA.  Where did NAR find these “Buyers,” on Second Life?

Similarly, every single one of the groups is “More likely to buy in a suburb/subdivision.”  Even the hipster, the definition of urban cool.  Riiiight.  We’re also amused that hipsters, according to Movoto, only are found in the single female variety.

Finally let’s admire the blog entry’s stunning conclusion.

What’s It All Mean

Now that we have pulled back the curtain on who is buying homes, we can safe to say the percentage at which these four groups purchase homes has remained relatively steady over the past decade. Unless there’s a drastic change, married couples will remain the predominant home buyers.

120609-breakdown-marriage-rateUnless there’s a drastic change?  You mean like all those foreclosures, all those students graduating with too much debt to qualify for a mortgage, and the collapse of marriage as an institution among non-college graduates?  That kind of drastic change?

This infographic begs to be parodied and we invite your suggestions on how to adapt it to the needs of the Bay Area. 

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so let us know about any Open Houses you visited and which of the above people in the infographic you saw there.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

13 Responses to “Round Up the Usual Suspects”

  1. Tracy Tea House Says:

    #1- Close to work, transportation and stores.
    #2- Good place to walk the dogs
    #3- Great backyard for gardening, dogs and entertaining.
    #4- Quiet, and I don’t mean quite.
    #5- In Santa Clara where they will put solar heating on my roof for the pool, have a lower utility rate and great services.
    #6- At least three bedrooms
    #7- Is VERY important. Great neighbors!
    Married hipsters no kids three dogs

  2. mabledu Says:

    man… i could write an epic 2-part mocumentary with that as a starting piece, except that i’m limited to the wee keyboard of an iphone this weekend. i’d probably just end up poking a hole through the screen after frustratingly mistyping every third word with my snausage fingers.

    if everyone wants to live in the subsurbs, no matter what avitar is used to describe them, who will live in the outlying reaches of nothingness– the flyover zone ( anything east of alameda county). let’s nominate some shite-hole town as the new suburban utopia, then watch every one of those avitars race over there like a flock of pigeons clucking and cooing all the way. actually, it’d be fun to pick a few shite-holes around the state and watch the flock skittle from one to another to another (ever notice that you only see adult avitars in the flock and never baby avitars? heh heh…)

  3. SV Shopper Says:

    Unfortunately the saga continues. 10 offers on Burlingame house, and we were outbid. It’s a crazy market out there!

  4. Sunny(vale) Kim Says:

    Ha ha! All we need is a Shakespeare to write the great tragedy of SV Shopper.

    Merchant of Venice Homeshopper of Silicon Valley

  5. SEA Says:

    “Unfortunately the saga continues. …and we were outbid [again].”

    I’d suggest increasing your offers by $500k, which is not a lot of money.

  6. madhaus Says:

    Unfortunately the saga continues. 10 offers on Burlingame house, and we were outbid. It’s a crazy market out there!

    We need a new Married Couple subgroup: Unable to Buy No Matter What Kind of Market.

  7. Tom Stone Says:

    madhaus, you’d better specify which market. There’s a 24 acre place just outside Guerneville with 2 houses, a year round creek (Trout, steelhead, salmon) and 10 plus acres of sunny flat bottomland that has chased the market down. Asking $849k and there’s a good chance you could get it for less. And yes, Sonoma County is part of the 9 county bay area.

  8. SEA Says:

    Like NYC is part of NY.

  9. madhaus Says:

    Tom Stone, I was referring to poor SV Shopper‘s inability to buy a single property despite trying for more than four years. That means he’s been making offers at the end of the last bubble, the credit crunch, the crash, the quiet period, and now the start of Bubble 2.0. One almost gets the feeling he isn’t really trying.

    I don’t know if he’d go for Guerneville, though. He says his wife is “big on education,” and the only education his kids would get there is how not to blow up a meth lab.

    That “big on education” comment is strangely lacking in the NAR report’s home buyer priority list. I’d have to agree that we bought into the best school district we could afford when we were shopping as well, which makes me call shenanigans on this infographic.

  10. Crissa Says:

    One of the options I was looking at was 9 acres of the Klamath River with a cabin on it ^-^ I’d have loved it, but spouse would’ve been stressed.

  11. Crissa Says:

    You know, I just thought about it… All the workaholics I know fall into two camps: The near-the-office sorts who actually go home to shower and the ones that don’t care where their house is at all, they’re only there on the weekend. Not one camp of both qualities…

    …And the gay couple is just… No. Summer home in SF? What are they smoking? That’s like a percent of a percent of the market. Not even worth mentioning.

  12. Mole Man Says:

    The characterization of the gay couple is a bit off, but the gay market matters for a number of reasons such as the longstanding correlation with gentrification and conversion to creative class.

  13. SEA Says:

    More “Facebook effect?”

    “Shares of Zynga stock have been on a rollercoaster ever since the Facebook IPO. Just like its bigger brother, it’s not a pretty picture – Zynga dipped below $5 today, down 50% from its IPO price of $10.”

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