According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the typical U.S. homebuyer spent less and borrowed less in 2011. More stats below but note that methodology tends to under-represent investors versus owner-occupied properties.
First time buyers, who made up 37% of the market, down from an historic 40% share, had a median age of 31 and income of $62,400, up from $59,900 in the 2010 study.
This buyer typically bought a 1,570 square foot home for $155,000, taking on a median monthly mortgage principal and interest payment of $794.
The typical repeat buyer was 53 years old, earned $96,600 (up from $87,000 reported last year) and purchased a 2,100 square foot home for $219,500 with a median payment of $1,006.
Most purchased a SFR (77%), 9% a condo, 8% a town or row house and 6% some other kind of housing.
The median down payment for all buyers was 11%, however for first-time buyers it was 5% and for repeat buyers 15%.
In both cases the median was a full percentage point higher than in 2010.
Fifty-four percent of first-time buyers financed with a low-down payment FHA mortgage, and 6% used the VA loan program which requires no down payment.