The latest annual National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released Friday, found that the share of first-time homebuyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales, compared with 41 percent in the 2008 study — with 55 percent of first-time buyers using a Federal Housing Administration-insured loan and 8 percent using the Veterans Affairs loan program.

The results are based on 9,138 responses from a national sample of homebuyers who completed an eight-page survey in July 2009.

The latest annual National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released Friday, found that the share of first-time homebuyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales, compared with 41 percent in the 2008 study — with 55 percent of first-time buyers using a Federal Housing Administration-insured loan and 8 percent using the Veterans Affairs loan program.

The results are based on 9,138 responses from a national sample of homebuyers who completed an eight-page survey in July 2009.

The median age of first-time buyers was 30 and the median income was $61,600, NAR reported. That compares to a median age of 48 for repeat buyers, who had a median income of $88,100.

Buyers participating in the study searched for a median 12 weeks and viewed 12 homes, the survey revealed. The median downpayment for all buyers was 8 percent, with 15 percent purchasing with no money down (compared with 23 percent in the 2008 survey) and 8 percent of buyers paying all cash.

About 36 percent of buyers said they first learned about the home they ultimately purchased via their agent — which is equal to the amount that found their home on the Internet.

Twelve percent reported that they first learned about the home they purchased from a yard sign; 6 percent from a friend, neighbor or relative; 5 percent from a builder; 2 percent a print or newspaper ad; 2 percent directly from the seller; and less than 1 percent from a real estate book or magazine. …CONTINUED

About 60 percent of buyers participating in the survey are married couples, 21 percent are single women, 10 percent single men, 8 percent unmarried couples and 1 percent "other," NAR reported.

The median age of home sellers was 46 and the median income was $91,100. Survey participants reported that their home was typically on the market for about 10 weeks. About half traded up in size with their next home purchase, NAR reported, while 30 percent bought a comparable home and 22 percent traded down.

Eighty-five percent of sellers participating in the survey said they used the services of a real estate professional, and 64 percent of those sellers chose their agent based on a referral or past experiences with that agent.

Homes sold for a median $36,000 more than the purchase price, the survey revealed, and typically sold for 95 percent of the listing price.

About 90 percent of buyers responding to the survey said they used the Internet to assist their home search, 87 percent said their agent assisted the home search, 59 percent used yard signs, 46 percent attended open houses, and 40 percent viewed print or newspaper ads.

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