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Active military homebuyers purchase younger, buy larger homes

Staff writer |
Differences in household demographics and affordable financing options spur homebuying demand for young active-service military members.

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The typical active-service buyer is more likely to be married and have multiple children.
This is causing them to significantly outpace the share of non-military homebuyers under the age of 35, according to the first-ever 2016 Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, which evaluates the differences of recent active-service and veteran home buyers and sellers1 compared to those who've never served.

The survey also found that while nearly all veteran and non-military buyers and sellers use an agent, usage is practically universal among active-service military members.

NAR's survey gathered greater insight into how each population of buyers and sellers differs and is similar to those who have never served in the military. Of all homebuyers, 18 percent identified as veterans and three percent as active-military.

Of all home sellers, 21 percent identified as veterans and one percent as active-military.

The results revealed quite a few contrasts between active-service military buyers and buyers who've never served.

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.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says young active-service buyers (ages 18-35) bought homes at a far greater rate (51 percent) than non-military buyers (34 percent).

"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," he said.

"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.

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