Will single buyers capture a greater share of 2017 home sales?

By Amanda Riggs RISMedia

According to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, the share of single buyers was on the decline from 2011 to 2015, as there was more competition in the market from investment and vacation homebuyers. The share of single buyers rebounded in 2016, however, possibly signaling new developments for the future—but first, let us look back at historical trends.

NAR tracks market changes in two of its flagship surveys, the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and the Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. In 2016, the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers celebrated its 35th anniversary, collecting data since 1981 and providing a historical perspective on how the share of buyer types have fluctuated over three-and-a-half decades. Historically, married couples have always captured the highest share of home sales—at their peak in 1985, married couples purchased 81 percent of all homes that year, followed by single females at 10 percent, single males at 6 percent, and unmarried couples at 3 percent.

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