For years now, our real estate company ( Domicile One Realty) has conducted surveys with buyer’s agents that have closed transactions in a variety of cities in the metro. What we are trying to do is flesh out what is motivating buyers to purchase homes in those municipalities and garner some high-level information on the buyers themselves. Information such as (1) Are they first time home buyers? (2) Did they use any area down payment assistance programs? (3) Approximately what age were the buyers?
Why do we do this? I believe it puts us ahead of the pack when it comes to understanding buyer motivation and that provides an extra level of service and insight to our seller clients. It also gives us a local industry knowledge that we are happy to share with other Realtors and community stakeholders.
Over the years we have looked at area municipalities and have been pleased to see how school districts, chamber of commerce presidents, local businesses, etc have opened their doors to review this data and the insight it brings to their own mission.
We typically see a trend of pricing being a number one motivator of city selection with first -time home buyers typically the highest category of buyer between ages 25-35.
- Typically only 1 out of 10 buyers participated in the MHDC Down Payment Assistance Programs.
Not too long ago, I ventured out to gather the same data in KCMO wondering if the trend would hold up.
Although pricing was still a very high consideration on reasons to purchase in KCMO, take a look at the City/Neighborhood Amenities category. This was the #1 motivation of the buyers. Although it doesn’t look like it topped the category with much, this was our first survey where this category had any real significance at all let alone overtaking pricing and proximity to work.
Based on our survey responses, KCMO continued the trend of First-Time Home buyers making up the highest segment of the purchases with the 25-35 age bracket the largest category in age group. Of those that responded, 70% of the buyers did not have school age children.
One survey item is always a bit discouraging to me is the participation in the MHDC (Missouri Housing Development Commission) down payment assistance programs. On average I see about 10%-15% participation based on the overall survey data. Of course, I have no way of knowing if these first time buyers would have been eligible for the program, but it seems that with (1) the majority of buyers being price motivated, (2) first time home buyers, and (3)at a relatively young age in their careers, we might have seen higher participation. This might speak more to the lack of awareness in the program than eligibility of the buyer. If that is the case, we as Realtors need to do better in spreading the message of all options available to potential home buyers.
If you or your organization would like more information on this survey, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As mentioned previously, we are always happy to share what we find and we’d welcome an opportunity to sit down and review the full survey data.
Terry Jackson | Managing Broker | www.DomicileOne.com | 913-488-5623 |