(Washington, DC – Insurance News and Markets) – The 2016 Veterans and Actiev Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile from the National Association of Realtors has revealed a few pieces of information that might surprise some. For example, financing options and differences in demographics may increase the demand for home buying by young active service military personnel under the age of 35, and significantly outpaces the share of non-military homebuyers of the same age.
The survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that 18 percent of all home buyers were veterans and three percent active-duty personnel. On the sales side, more than 20 percent were veterans and one percent of respondents were active duty.
At a median age of 34 years old, the typical active-service buyer was a lot younger than non-military buyers (40 years old) and was more likely to be married and have multiple children living in their household. As a result, they typically bought a larger home that cost more than those purchased by both non-military buyers and veterans.
The survey revealed that active service members between 18 and 35 more frequently purchased homes than non-military buyers.
“Despite having a lower median income ($76,800), more stable job security and no down payment financing options give aspiring homeowners in the military a deserving advantage over their civilian peers,” said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the NAR. “Furthermore, their tendencies to marry and raise a family at an earlier age and carry less student debt make buying a home a more desirable and achievable option.”
Veterans Affairs loans – which offer over 100 percent financing for veteran and active-service homebuyers – were the most popular loan type for active-service and veteran buyers, leading to the majority of active-service buyers financing their entire home purchase and veterans putting down a median down payment of 5 percent. For non-military buyers, the median down payment was 11 percent.
A place to call home is often times one of the few constants for the families of the brave men and women defending our country, said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “That’s why it’s so important to ensure that homeownership opportunities and affordable financing options exist for qualified military personnel, veterans and their families.”
The survey revealed that active service buyers seemed to prefer larger single family homes than their non-military or veteran counterparts. Active-service buyers typically bought a 2,170-square-foot home that cost more ($226,000). Veteran buyers had a median income of $84,000, and they typically bought a 1,980-square-foot home costing $220,000.
Active service and veteran buyers tend to use real estate agents in both the home buying and sales processes, according to NAR. They typically purchased homes further from their previous homes than non-military personnel, and the things they look for are also different. For example, veterans were most influenced by the quality of the neighborhood, while convenience to their job was desired the most by active-service members.
While nearly all buyers predominantly used the Internet and a real estate agent during their home search, active-duty buyers used a real estate agent at an even higher rate (95 percent versus 88 percent for non-military buyers). As a group, they were also most likely to use mobile or tablet search engines and relocation companies during their search.
“Many Realtors are veterans themselves, who understand the unique housing needs of those serving our country,” says Salomone. “Whether it’s relocating to a completely new area across the country or needing to sell their home in a short timeframe, Realtors are committed to helping active-service members and veterans succeed in their homeownership goals.”
Source: National Association of REALTORS®.