Realtor.com® Issues Winter Home Buyer Report

Today, realtor.com®, a leader in online real estate, operated by Move, Inc., released the results of its Winter Home Buyer Report, which ran on realtor.com® from Nov. 7-16 and explored sentiments of home buyers looking to buy a house during the winter months.

Survey results from more than 1,300 respondents reveal that lingering conditions of this past home-buying season are setting the tone for winter home buyers including inventory challenges and all cash offers. While the majority of winter home buyers describe themselves as relocation buyers, downsizers are also a large portion of those looking to buy a house in the next four months.

Twenty-nine percent of all cash home buyers planning a purchase in the next four months are downsizers

“This summer and spring home buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory. In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home buying season,” said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications at realtor.com®. “While buyers are still experiencing challenges with inventory and approximately one in five buyers plan to put down all cash, there are advantages looking for a home in the winter. Motivated sellers, better prices and less competition between buyers are some the top reasons winter home buyers are interested in purchasing a home during the colder months of the year.”

Biggest challenges when searching for a home during winter:

· 45 percent of respondents indicated that there is not enough inventory within price range;
· 34 percent shared that there is not enough inventory on the market;
· 29 percent believe that winter weather makes house hunting unpleasant;
· 7 percent indicated that there are too many buyers in the market.

Top reasons consumers are looking to buy a home in winter:

26 percent of respondents believe that sellers are more motivated to sell and willing to negotiate;
24 percent indicated that they think home prices will be better;
24 percent revealed that they were unable to buy a house during spring or summer;
20 percent shared that they think there will be less competition between buyers.

The current purchase status of those surveyed includes the following:

28 percent of respondents reported that they are relocation buyers;
19 percent shared that they are existing homeowners downsizing to a smaller or less expensive home;
19 percent indicated that they are first-time home buyers;
15 percent revealed that they are current homeowners moving up to a bigger or more expensive home.

Amount of cash winter home buyers are planning to use for their down payment:

13 percent of buyers are planning to put down 3.5 percent cash (United States Federal Housing Administration loan);
23 percent are planning to put down 10 to 20 percent cash;
22 percent are planning to put down 21 to 99 percent cash;
19 percent are planning to put down 100 percent cash.

Of those planning to use all cash, the respondents fall into the following categories:

29 percent of respondents are downsizing to a smaller or less expensive home;
26 percent are relocation buyers;
11 percent are moving up to a bigger or more expensive home;
11 percent are buying a vacation home.

Source: RIS Media

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