Home Buyers and Sellers Profile
Happy couple sitting on floor of new home
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The Latest Facts and Figures about Buyers and Sellers in Florida

A detailed look at who's buying, who's selling, which properties are most attractive and how people deal with the entire process.

What does the typical Florida home buyer or seller look like?

Each year, the National Association of Realtors does a deep dive into who's buying and selling homes. The facts and figures about buyers and sellers in Florida included in the report offer insights into the Sunshine State's unique housing market.

Here are some highlights from the latest report from 2019:

Characteristics of Florida homebuyers

  • First-time buyers made up 33 percent of all homebuyers, the same as last year. In Florida, 25 percent were first-time buyers.
  • The typical buyer was 47 years old this year, and the median household income for 2018 rose again this year to $93,200. In Florida, buyers were 37 years old and have a median income of $86,500.
  • Sixty-one percent of recent buyers were married couples, 17 percent were single females, 9 percent were single males, and 9 percent were unmarried couples. In Florida, 59 percent were married couples, 19 percent were single females, 10 percent were single males, and 9 percent were unmarried couples.
  • Twelve percent of homebuyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, and for cost savings. In Florida, that share was 14 percent.
  • Ninety-one percent of recent homebuyers identified as heterosexual, 3 percent as gay or lesbian, 1 percent as bisexual, 1 percent preferred to self-describe, and 5 percent preferred not to answer. In Florida, 89 percent identified as heterosexual, 4 percent as gay or lesbian, and 1 percent as bisexual.
  • Twenty percent of recent homebuyers are veterans and 3 percent are active-duty service members. Twenty-eight percent are veterans and 4 are active-duty service members in Florida.
  • At 29 percent, the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own. In Florida, this was 23 percent.

Characteristics of Florida homes purchased

  • Buyers of new homes made up 13 percent and buyers of previously owned homes made up 87 percent. In Florida, this share is 20 percent for new homes and 80 percent for previously owned homes.
  • Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 39 percent. Buyers who purchased previously owned homes were most often considering a better value at 33 percent. In Florida, 32 percent of new homebuyers were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity and 28 percent purchased previously owned homes were looking for a better overall value.
  • Detached single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recent buyers at 83 percent, followed by 6 percent of buyers choosing townhomes or row houses. In Florida, buyers bought single-family homes at 83 percent.
  • Senior-related housing decreased this year to 12 percent, with 20 percent of buyers typically purchasing condos and 9 percent purchasing a townhouse or row house. Seventeen percent bought senior-related homes in Florida.
  • There was a median of only 15 miles between the homes that recent buyers purchased and the homes that they moved from. 
  • Home prices increased slightly this year to a median of $257,000 among all buyers. Buyers typically purchased their homes for 98 percent of the asking price. In Florida, the median home price was $255,858 at 97 percent of the asking price.
  • The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,850 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1990. In Florida, the typical home was 1,800 square feet and built in 1999.
  • Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 15 years, while 20 percent say that they are never moving. 

The home search process

  • For 44 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale, while 16 percent of buyers first contacted a real estate agent. In Florida, 47 percent looked online first and 16 percent contacted a real estate agent.
  • Eighty-seven percent of recent buyers found their real estate agent to be a very useful information source. Online websites were seen as the most useful information source at 93 percent. Eighty-seven percent found real estate agents and 91 percent found websites useful in the home search process in Florida.
  • Buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of nine homes. 
  • The typical buyer who did not use the internet during their home search spent only four weeks searching and visited four homes, compared with those who did use the internet and searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes. In Florida, those who did not search the internet looked at four homes over three weeks.
  • Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 87 percent of buyers found photos and 85 percent found detailed information about properties for sale very useful. In Florida, 83 percent found photos very useful in their home search process.
  • Sixty-three percent of recent buyers were very satisfied with their recent home buying process, up from 62 percent a year ago. In Florida, 65 percent were very satisfied with the process.

Home buying and real estate professionals

  • Eighty-nine percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, and 5 percent purchased directly from a builder or builder’s agent. In Florida, 85 percent purchase through a real estate agent.
  • Having an agent to help them find the right home was what buyers wanted most when choosing an agent at 52 percent. In Florida, 55 percent worked with an agent to find the right home.
  • Forty-one percent of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative and 12 percent used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home. In Florida, 37 percent used referrals to find their real estate agent.
  • Seventy-five percent of buyers interviewed only one real estate agent during their home search. In Florida, this was 74 percent.
  • Ninety percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others. Eighty-nine percent would recommend their agent again in Florida.

Financing the home purchase

  • Eighty-six percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase on a national level and 80 percent in Florida. Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 88 percent and in Florida, it was 85 percent.
  • First-time buyers who financed their home typically financed 94 percent of their home compared with repeat buyers at 84 percent. In Florida, the share was 91 percent of first-time buyers and 81 percent of repeat buyers.
  • For 60 percent of buyers, the source of the downpayment came from their savings. Thirty-eight percent of buyers cited using the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence, which was the next most commonly reported way of securing a downpayment. In Florida, 54 percent used savings and 39 percent used proceeds from the sale of a primary residence.
  • For 13 percent of buyers, the most difficult step in the home buying process was saving for a downpayment. In Florida, 12 percent said saving was the most difficult step.
  • Of buyers who said saving for a downpayment was difficult, 51 percent of buyers reported that student loans made saving for a downpayment difficult. Forty-five percent cited credit card debt, and 38 percent cited car loans as also making saving for a downpayment hard. In Florida, 37 percent reported having student loan debt, 57 percent had credit card debt, and 37 percent had car loans.
  • Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Eighty-one percent reported they view a home purchase as a good investment and 80 percent in Florida.

Home sellers and their selling experience

  • The typical home seller was 57 years old, with a median household income of $102,900. In Florida, the median age was 60 years with a median income of $97,300.
  • 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 that it was too small (13 percent), and a job relocation (11 percent). In Florida, the reasons were moving due to retirement (14 percent) and the desire to move closer to friends and family (14 percent), followed by the neighborhood has become less desirable (12 percent), and job relocation (11 percent).
  • Sellers typically lived in their home for 10 years before selling, up from last year. In Florida, sellers sold after 11 years.
  • Eighty-nine percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home and 92 percent in Florida.
  • For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median 99 percent of the final listing price and in Florida, it was 98 percent.
  • Recently sold homes were on the market for a median of three weeks, the same as last year and three weeks in Florida.
  • Thirty-four percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers; this was 25 percent in Florida.
  • This year, home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $60,000 more than they purchased it. In Florida, the median was $65,000.
  • Sixty-six percent of sellers were very satisfied with the selling process and 68 percent in Florida.

Home selling and real estate professionals

  • Sixty-six percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home. In Florida, that figure was 67 percent.
  • Seventy-five percent of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home. In Florida, it was also 75 percent.
  • Eighty-nine percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home. In Florida, it was 94 percent.
  • Seventy-five percent of sellers reported that they provided the agent’s compensation and at 79 percent in Florida.
  • The typical seller has recommended their agent once since selling their home, compared to twice in Florida. Thirty-six percent of sellers recommended their agent three or more times since selling their home. In Florida, this share was 48 percent.
  • Seventy percent said that they would definitely (48 percent) or probably (22 percent) recommend their agent for future services. In Florida, 75 percent said definitely and 14 percent said probably.

Click the blue button below to download the full report. If you are visually impaired and need assistance reading the report, please contact Erica Plemmons at 407.438.1400.