This news snippet below is from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center email newsletter. It’s a survey of Houston home sellers and buyers, but the same results would be found if they did the survey in Austin.
The big news?…“Houstonians shopping for a home look for quality neighborhoods, good schools and short commutes to their jobs.” Earth shattering news, right? Whomever commissioned the survey could have just given the money to me and I would have told them that. Nevertheless, there is some interesting info in the survey results.
HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – A new survey commissioned by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) is helping assess the area’s current and future housing market.
According to the survey, which explores the changing habits of local sellers and their buyers, Houstonians shopping for a home look for quality neighborhoods, good schools and short commutes to their jobs.
The survey also showed that Internet use is on the rise, with 72 percent of the respondents who used a real estate agent reporting they searched online before deciding to buy. Local buyers reported using har.com as part of their search more than any other website.
Seventy-two percent of home sellers surveyed were represented by an agent. While 64 percent of the buyers said they used an agent, those who did not said it was because they bought from a friend or relative, were contacted by the seller directly, or did not want to deal with an agent or pay a commission.
Consumers also want to know that the real estate agent they choose has a good track record. More than 75 percent of those surveyed said reading previous customer comments about an agent would be beneficial.
HAR is developing a system so sellers can rate real estate agents on performance, said Rob Cook, chairman of the association and broker-owner of Robert D. Cook Properties.
Further survey findings show the median purchase price for homebuyers was about $153,000. Almost half were first time homebuyers. Fixed-rate mortgages financed the majority of homes. Only 9 percent of buyers used adjustable-rate mortgages, and 11 percent said they paid cash.
Trends expected to continue are the number of buyers under the age of 30 and the number of single people purchasing a home, which amounted to 10 and nearly 30 percent of respondents, respectively.
The survey was conducted by the University of Houston’s Center for Public Policy. Respondents were picked from a random sample of more than 60,000 individuals who recorded residential property transactions in 2006.