2019’s homebuyers, at a glance.

Every year since 1981, the National Association of Realtors has released its Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, a 129-question survey-turned-report that’s been called "the leading industry source of trusted insight into consumer behavior for nearly four decades."

You can see some of that insight (including how to grow or shrink your time spent looking and houses visited) in our annual look back at the year in real estate.

In Rochester, area inventory is changing, slightly. Maybe. New listings in Southeast Minnesota were up 4.3 percent since November of last year (from 422 to 440), according to the Southeast Minnesota Realtors (SEMR) November 2019 report. But pending sales shrank from 433 to 413. Inventory shrank 5 percent to 1,397 units.

Area prices, though, trended up. The median sales price was up 5.5 percent to $195,000, according to SEMR. Days on market jumped 2 percent to 55 days.

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Mortgage rates are down by 1 percent since last year, but it’s not all sunshine and roses on that front.

"While many economic signs are quite strong, total household debt has been rising for 21 consecutive quarters and is now $1.3 trillion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in 2008," according to SEMR. "While delinquency rates remain low across most debt types (including mortgages), higher consumer debt loads can limit future household spending capability and increase risk if the economy slows down."

A few more homebuyer takeaways from the National Association of Realtors (in addition to the graph):

The typical buyer was 47 years old.

The median household income for buyers rose to $93,200 this year. But higher income comes with a price—24 percent of buyers still had student debt.

Once again, 12 percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home (mostly to take care of aging parents, or because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, or for cost-saving).

The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,850 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1990.

For 60 percent of buyers, down payments came from their savings. Thirty-eight percent reported using proceeds from the sale from a primary residence to make their next down payment.

Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Seventy-eight percent of non-owners reported they view a home purchase as a good investment. But 57 percent of non-owners also believe it would be at least somewhat difficult to become a homeowner.

source: National Association of Realtors, SEMR

More house numbers

2019’s homesellers, at a glance.

The National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers also profiles (as you’d expect) sellers.

For the Rochester area, the Southeast Minnesota Realtors (SEMR) report that, through November 2019, our area had closed on 5,757 houses in the year to date, compared to 5,837 in 2018. The days on market for the year to date rose to 55 in 2019, versus 52 in 2018.

And, a few more homeseller takeaways from the National Association of Realtors (in addition to the graph):

Eighty-six percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase. Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 88 percent.

The typical For-Sale-by-Owner home seller was 60 years old, with a median household income of $94,000. Most homes were sold by married couples (65 percent).

For all sellers, the most commonly cited reason for selling their home was the desire to move closer to friends and family (16 percent), followed by the feeling that it was too small (13 percent), and a job relocation (11 percent).

Eighty-nine percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home.

For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median of 99 percent of the final listing price—same as last year.

FSBO homes were on the market for a median of two weeks, because many were sold to people the sellers knew.

source: National Association of Realtors, SEMR