Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
(Updated July 2015)
Looking for quick statistics for your sales meeting or a customer brochure? Need a quick fact to make your point? Information Services has compiled some of the most requested statistics for quick and easy access. Find the information that you need, as well as its source, at a glance. (A. Creitz, Information & Web Content Specialist)
Overview of the Real Estate Market
- The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States.
- According to the 2012 Economic Census, there are 86,004 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States.
- Preliminary results from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) show that there were 5.6 million commercial buildings in the United States in 2012, comprising 87.4 billion square feet of floorspace.
- There are approximately 115 million occupied housing units in the United States, according to the 2013 American Housing Survey. The typical owner-occupied home was built in 1976; the typical renter-occupied home was built in 1973. The typical home size is 1,500 square feet. The typical home owner is 55 years old, and has lived in the current home for 14 years.
- In 2013, 65.2 % of families owned their primary residence, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
- 4,940,000 existing homes were sold in 2014, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. 437,000 newly constructed homes were sold in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
NAR Membership Statistics
Members to date: 1,117,566 as of May 31, 2015
Number of local associations: 1,341 as of Dec. 31, 2014
- 58% percent of REALTORS® are licensed as sales agents, and 80% of members specialize in residential brokerage.
- The typical REALTOR® is a 57 year old white female homeowner with some college education.
- 58% of all REALTORS® are female, and the median age of all REALTORS® is 57.
- Real estate experience of all REALTORS® (median): 12 years
- Median tenure at present firm (all REALTORS®): 5 years
- Most REALTORS® worked 40 hours per week in 2014.
- The median gross income of REALTORS® was $45,800 in 2014, down from $47,700 in 2013.
Formal education of REALTORS®:
- Some college: 31%
- Bachelor's degree: 30%
- Graduate degree and above: 12%
- Associate degree: 11%
- Some graduate school: 8%
- High school graduate: 7%
- REALTOR® affiliation with firms:
- Independent contractor: 83%
- Employee: 5%
- Other: 12%
Statistics on REALTORS® and Technology
- 27% of agents and 21% of brokers spent between $501 - $2,000 on technology in the last 12 months.
- The top three tools that respondents plan on purchasing or replacing in the next year are: iPad (16%); Smartphone (15%); and digital camera (12%).
- The most frequently used operating system is Windows 7 (38%).
- The most popular smartphones are iPhone (52%), Android OS (45%), Blackberry (3%).
- 91% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent.
- The top places where REALTORS® place their listings are realtor.com®, Zillow and Trulia.
Home Buyer Statistics
First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers:
- First-time buyers: 38%
- Median age of first-time buyers: 31
- Median age of repeat buyers: 52
- Median household income of first-time buyers: $64,400
- Median household income of repeat buyers: $96,000
- The typical home purchased in 2013 was 1,900 square feet in size, was built in 1992, and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
- Among those who financed their home purchase, buyers typically financed 90% of the home price.
- 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
- Buyers who definitely would use same agent again: 73%
Information sources used in home search:
- Real estate agent: 89%
- Yard sign: 51%
- Mobile of tablet website or application: 45%
- Open house: 45%
- Mobile or tablet search engine: 42%
- Print newspaper advertisement: 23%
- 78% of home buyers surveyed in NAR’s 2013 Community Preference Survey responded that neighborhood quality is more important than the size of the home. 57% would forego a home with a larger yard in favor of a shorter commute.
- NAR’s 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences found that the feature that had the highest dollar value buyers were willing to pay more for was a waterfront property. 53% of home buyers undertook a home improvement project within 3 months of buying, typically spending $4,550 in improvement projects.
Home Seller Statistics
- The typical home seller in 2013 was 53 years of age, had a median household income of $97,500, and lived in their home for 9 years.
- 88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
- Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 97% of the listing price, and 47% reported reducing the asking price at least once.
- The typical home sold was on the market for 5 weeks.
- 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 25% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
- Sellers who definitely would use same agent again: 65%
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics
- FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
FSBO methods used to market home:
- Yard sign: 36%
- Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 28%
- Online classified advertisements: 16%
- Open house: 14%
- For-sale-by-owner websites: 13%
- Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 7%
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 7%
- Print newspaper advertisement: 7%
- Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 1%
- Video: 1%
- Other: 2%
- None: Did not actively market home: 32%
Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:
- Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%
- Getting the right price: 13%
- Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 12%
- Helping buyer obtain financing: 3%
- Attracting potential buyers: 3%
- Selling within the planned length of time: 7%
- Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 6%
Other Recommended Sources for Data on Real Estate:
The Economists’ Outlook blog provides insight into NAR Research’s reports and analyzes how various economic indicators affect the real estate market.
NAR’s State-by-State Economic Impact of Real Estate Activity examines real estate markets in each state and analyzes their contribution to the economy.
The Research & Statistics section of REALTOR.org includes links to recent surveys and reports available from NAR.
U.S. Housing Market Conditions is published quarterly by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, providing numerous housing market statistics from the federal government and other organizations.
The State of the Nation’s Housing, from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, is an annual review of housing markets in the U.S., including data on demographic trends and economic conditions.
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