Average New Home Owner Expenditures


Image by Flickr user ArmchairBuilder.com (CC license)

The question regarding new home owner expenditures crops up somewhat frequently here in the NAR Library. The NAR,  NAHB, and BLS include some useful statistics to answer questions in this arena. For those not familiar with the acronyms: NAR = National Association of REALTORS®, NAHB = National Association of Home Builders®,  and BLS = U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The first useful resource is NAR’s Jobs Impact of an Existing Home Purchase (uses data from 2010) report which offers that “one job is generated for every two home sales.  Using that ratio, 1,000 home sales generate 500 jobs.”

The aforementioned report also includes this useful chart on the Impact of Single Existing Home Purchase, given a median home sale price of $173,000:

Real Estate Industries Related Industries
Local Economic
New Housing
$15,570 + $5,235 + $9,987 + $27,738 = $58,529

For a historical look, check out the 2008 version of this report here.

Further, the NAR publishes economic impact reports for each state. For example, in the economic impact report for Missiouri in February of 2012, it offers that “Additional expenditures on consumer items such as on furniture, appliances, and paint service is: $5,234.”

The National Association of Home Builders®’ report “Spending Patterns of Home Buyers” (2008) has some good statistics too, including details on average home buyer expenditures for the first year after purchase, and average new household appliance and furnishing expenditures. It then compares these figures by existing and new home sales versus “non-moving owners.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a nice chart on averange annual household expenditures. Here is a chart for 2011.

The NAR’s April 2012 report Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing is also useful. It focuses on this topic from a macroeconomic perspective, but may still provide the necessary data to help home buyers and sellers understand the value of home maintenance.

In considering the question of home sale preparation expenditures, the annual Cost vs. Value survey comes to mind, which offers statistics on average costs to repair items, and which repairs may bear the greatest fruit in a home sale.

Further, REALTOR® Magazine has a series of customer handouts, including one for sellers: 5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market. The Magazine’s 2009 article also provides some after costs for “boosting curb appeal” here and this article offers some guidance for Judging a Project’s Worthiness. HouseLogic offers this audio report on preping the home for sale.

Kate Stockert

Information & Web Content Specialist at the National Association of REALTORS®

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  1. Kate,

    Good info and nice article. Was just having a discussion with a client on how important the housing industry is at local/regional levels in smaller areas like here in the Hilton Head / Bluffton area of South Carolina. It’s just huge. The impact of a home sale ripples out into the community to all sorts of areas that many don’t think of. Thanks for those links as well. DM.

  2. Kate

    Thanks for the feedback Daniel–glad to hear the information is of use 🙂