In the first 10 years of the 21st century, the real estate market developed at a remarkable rate. Ten years ago, most homebuyers had never viewed a home online, and
the top three marketing methods to sell a home were yard signs, newspapers ads, and open houses, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said. In addition, nine out of 10 buyers in the 90s financed their purchase with a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage. Clearly, a lot can change in a decade.
â€œThe real estate industry has seen tremendous change and evolution over the past decade,â€ said Vicki Cox Golder, NAR president. â€œRealtors have not only anticipated and adapted to the evolving needs of their clients and customers, but also have influenced industry trends and innovations that will carry us into the future.â€
In 1999, only 37 percent of buyers used the Internet in their home search, according to data from the NAR profile of homebuyers and sellers, but today, 90 percent of buyers are searching online. The real estate industry has
responded, and real estate websites have evolved to give todayâ€™s buyer what they want. Instead of just property listings, these sites offer multiple photos, online videos, mapping features, and comprehensive neighborhood information.
In the past 10 years, median home values have increased more than 25 percent to $172,600 in November 2009. While sales for detached, single-family homes decreased 4 percent in the last decade, sales of homes in suburban neighborhood increased 8 percent.
Buyers, too, are changing. According to NAR, married couples represent 60 percent of all buyers today, down 8 percent from the beginning of this decade. However, single men and women have made up the difference. Single men purchased 10 percent of all homes last year, marking a 3 percent increase from 10 years ago, and single women now represent 21 percent of all homebuyers, a 6 percent jump from 1999.
Still, some aspects havenâ€™t changed. Just as it was in 1999, the median age for homebuyers last year was 39. Neighborhood quality, affordability, and convenience to work and school remained top priorities for buyers, and eight out of 10 recently surveyed consumers believe owning a home is an investment in their future.
â€œRealtors have been around for more than 100 years, but one constant during that time has been the persistence of homeownership as the American Dream,â€ Golder said. â€œAs the first decade of this century comes to a close, NAR stands ready to meet the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead by helping our Realtor members better serve their clients and communities and ensuring that those dreams of homeownership remain possible for all who want to achieve it.â€
By Carrie Bay