seven year real estate market cycle
Buying

How Has Home Buying Changed in the Last 7 Years

There’s an economic theory called the 7-year market cycle. Let’s take a look back at the ways in which buying a home has changed over the past seven years.

The Seven-Year Itch

While some people buy homes for keeps, the average period of homeownership is around 13 years, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. However, many people tend to buy in seven-year cycles, which happens to coincide with the 7-year property cycle. According to some property analysts, the cycle – boom, bust, bottoming, and recovery – typically takes seven to ten years. So it makes sense that savvy buyers would be attuned to this cycle and would try to make the most of it. Buy low, sell high!

Whether you’re the type who tries to time your buying and selling to the peaks and valleys of the larger market or just happen to be in the market for a new home, you’ll find that certain things about the home buying experience have changed over the past seven years.

Let’s take a look back at the past seven years in the residential real estate market to see how the landscape has evolved.

seven year real estate market cycle

Desirable Homes Go Quickly Now

Think back to seven years ago – the recession was underway, and credit conditions were quite stringent. To many would-be homebuyers, it seemed as though the only way they could get credit would be to improve their financials to a point where they wouldn’t need it.

It makes sense, then, that available inventory would sit on the market for longer. Just before the initial recovery, a mere 22% of homes sold in less than two weeks; now, 28% of homes sell that quickly, according to Coldwell Banker.

Competition Is Fierce

In particularly hot markets, the competition is so fierce that successful buyers feel almost like sweepstakes winners. Nearly 50% of home sellers receive multiple offers – up from 40% during the dog days of the recession.

Real estate professionals have also noticed an increased frequency of offers above asking price, and a sharp dip in the number of sellers taking the first offer they receive.

seven year real estate market cycle

Walkability Is Crucial

Millennials, once a source of consternation among real estate analysts everywhere, have entered the housing market in a big way. They’re now the biggest group of first-time homebuyers, followed by their older siblings in Generation X.

How has their increasing enthusiasm for homeownership influenced the market? One word: walkability. What is walkability, exactly? Walkscore.com defines it as having “…a mix of common daily shopping and social destinations within a short distance.” According to them, homes with above average walk scores fetch a premium of between $4k and $34k in typical metro areas.

The Internet Is the Tool of Choice for House Hunters

It’s not as though the Internet was a novel technology in 2009. Even back then, just about everyone was online. But the way property shoppers use the Internet has changed since then. Buyers in those days often used it to find contact information for brokers and agents, but generally relied on the professionals to show them what was available.

Fast-forward to 2016, and many homebuyers already have a short list of specific properties that pique their interest, culled from sources like Homes.com. There’s still plenty of need for agents and brokers, but in many ways, their role’s main focus has evolved. They’re no longer the sole information providers and curators. Their skills as experts, negotiators, and facilitators are in as high demand as ever.

seven year real estate market cycle

Lucky Number Seven

If you’re in the market for a new home, whether it’s for the first time in seven years or the first time ever, we wish you the best of luck. Of course, with resources like Homes.com’s real estate listings and handpicked agents, the odds will definitely be in your favor.


Homes.com is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country. Happy house hunting!

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Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.

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