The California Association of Realtors recently completed its 11th annual 2010 Survey of California Home Buyers that details how home buyers have adapted to changing market conditions and the new housing market environment.
Some of the key findings of the home buyer survey are:
1. The share of first time home buyers increased in the past year. This was the second straight year of increase for first time home buyers. Their share of the total of all home buyers this year was 46%. This percentage is a record high since CAR began this survey. The lowest level of first time homebuyers recorded by the study was 7% in 2002.
2. The federal home buyer tax credit influenced many buyers' decisions to purchase this year. 73% of first time home buyers said they were influenced by the tax credit.
3. There was an increase in the percentage of home buyers who were interested in Bank Owned/REO's/Short Sales this year. Home buyers who purchased a bank-owned/REO property increased from 38% in 2009 to 41% in 2010. Home buyers purchasing short sales increased from 13% to 16%. First time home buyers fueled these increases in 2010. The interest in Bank-owned/REO and Short Sales by repeat buyers remained mostly flat as compared to the previous year.
4. More home buyers were optimistic that real estate prices will rise in the future. 23% of them thought that homes in their neighborhood would increase in value in the next year. This is up from only 8% in 2009.
5. Home buyers are putting a larger down payment on their new homes in 2010. First time home buyers are putting an average of 23.1% down while repeat buyers are putting an average of 37.3% down on their purchases this year. Both percentages are up when compared to 2009.