What Are The National Real Estate Market Trends?
The National Association of REALTORS has consistently surveyed America’s real estate buying public. By comparing the NAR’s 2004 and 2007 home buyers surveys, several interesting trends are emerging that should be taken into account.
Technology has had an effect on home buyers’ want lists. With the drop in prices of large screen TVs and the ease of storing DVDs, media rooms were the most significant change since the 2004 survey. In 2004, 41% of the buyers looked for media rooms versus 57% in 2007. A cable ready house also moved up on the want list.
Possibly as a sign of the success of the advertising by home improvement stores, hardwood floors and granite counter tops are also becoming more of a desired feature. Granite counter tops were once the domain of high end homes, but with the Chinese manufacturing getting a larger piece of the American pie, granite counters are becoming more affordable.
Another slight change over the three years was the average home size and age. Homes tended to be 100 square feet larger and three years younger. In 2004, the average home was built in 1989. In 2007, the average home was built in 1995. It would be interesting to correlate those dates with the age of neighborhoods and subdivisions in your local area.
The desire for larger garages also increased 16% over the three years of the study. At the same time, investment in storage units has stayed strong. Hmmm, do we buy things just to store them?
Interestingly, the NAR findings correlate with findings about the changing social trends in the US. The trend of more people are seeking entertainment at home and shopping via websites with their keyboards may match the media rooms and less of a concern for how far one lives from shopping centers.
Another trend, called Egonomics by trend tracker Faith Popcorn, is reflected in the NAR survey. People are moving to customize their world, from the color of the walls, flooring in the family room, pictures on their cell phones, to getting their news through real estate web sites and RSS feeds and not newspapers.
With a few changes in trends, the real estate market still appears to be operating under the “please the customer” principle – 90% of the home buyers in the 2007 survey were satisfied with their home purchase. Good job real estate agents of America!
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