The National Association of Realtors recently released their annual home buyer profile report.  The findings are interesting – and telling.

Economic Conditions Prompt Changes in Buyer Behavior

Each year, the National Association of Realtors releases a comprehensive analysis of home buyer behavior in an effort to better understand how and why buyers are making their decisions.  The association’s most recent report describes a number of changes in buyer behavior that occurred in 2022 - some in response to the pandemic and some in response to increasing affordability issues.  Below are a few interesting nuggets from the report.

Buyer Characteristics in 2022

First time home buyers accounted for just 26% of home sales in 2022, down from 34% in 2021. This is the lowest share of first time buyers since data collection began and likely reflects the impact that high mortgage interest rates and high home prices have had on younger buyers.

The median distance between a buyer’s old home and the home they purchased in 2022 was 50 miles. This is a significant increase from 2021, when the median distance between old home and new was just 15 miles. With many people working remotely, home buyers aren’t as place bound as they used to be.

14% of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home to take care of aging parents, to accommodate adult children moving home and/or to save money.

78% of recent home buyers financed their purchase, down from 87% in 2021. This almost certainly has to do with increased mortgage interest rates, which have made financing less appealing.

The typical down payment in 2022 was 6% of the purchase price for first time home buyers and 17% for repeat buyers. Buyers who are financing are financing quite a bit, in spite of high interest rates.

Mortgage interest rates aren’t predicted to drop significantly until 2024 and home prices have stabilized, which means that housing affordability will continue to impact the market for the rest of this year.  Though low inventory levels still tilt the balance of power toward sellers, they should to be sensitive to buyer capacity when pricing their homes for sale.


Mark Pinto is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Chambers Bay, specializing in residential real estate in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place and Lakewood.

Mark Pinto: (253) 318-0923

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