The data is in! Last year’s real estate statistics are here, and they’re proving once again how important it is for buyers, sellers, agents, builders, and investors (really anyone interested in real estate) to to keep up with the trends of this ever-changing industry. Each year, the data collected from real estate experts like NAR, Trulia, and Contactually helps us predict what to expect in the coming year, and how to be successful in the industry moving forward. We’ve analyzed last year’s data and handpicked what we think are the most important real estate statistics to know, so you can be a successful buyer, seller, investor, or agent in 2017.

Here are the most important real estate statistics from 2016 that we think everyone should know to be successful in the industry today:

A Third of All First Time Home Buyers Were Millennials

As the Keri Shull Team has previously reported, more and more millennials are entering the market now to buy their first homes. In 2016, over 30% of first time home buyers were from Generation Y. That number is only expected to rise in 2017, making this real estate statistic key for both sellers and agents. The majority of millennials reported wanting to buy a home within the next two years, so this year is sure to popular for young, first time home buyers. Those looking to sell their home in 2017 should understand what millennial home buyers want in their first home, so they can appeal to this new generation of first time home buyers. Agents should also be sure to look for new, innovative ways to market to the younger generation to be successful in 2017.

The Internet Is the First Step for Most Buyers

This isn’t really a huge surprise, but the numbers are still staggering. Nearly 80% of all home buyers reported pursuing an online-based home search, and internet research was the first step in the home buying process for over 40% of home buyers last year.  This just goes to show how important it is for agents to market listings online and optimize them for the Web. Last year, 84% of home buyers were relying heavily on the Internet to buy a home, so we can only expect that trend to strengthen in 2017. That’s why choosing a real estate agent with a strong online presence is so important.

Social Media Is the Future of Real Estate

We at the Keri Shull Team already know how prevalent social media is in today’s culture and thus how useful it is in the real estate industry, but the real estate statistics from 2016 just go to show how many agents are behind on modern day real estate trends. Less than 15% of real estate agents reported utilizing social media to market their listings last year. Considering that over half of all home buyers used a mobile device to search for homes in 2016, this is entirely too low of a number for agents that want to be successful in this modern age of real estate. Over 80% of all home buyers in 2016 reported wanting to see pictures of homes online before seeing a property in person. Apps like Instagram and Facebook are becoming the perfect vehicle for agents to market their listings online (and it is a sure-fire way to catch the attention of a younger buyer). Choose an agent or team that already knows how to perfectly market your home on social media, and get a leg up on the competition in 2017.

Real Estate Agents Are More Important Than Ever

Even though it may seem like the Internet is replacing real estate agents, the stats from last year tell a different story. Nearly 90% of all generations of home buyers in 2016 used a real estate agent or team to buy their homes. Sure, it’s useful for buyers to do research online, but it cannot replace the advice and expertise of an experienced agent. Over 70% of all 2016 home buyers reported that they would recommend their realtor to a friend or use their services again in the future. These real estate statistics prove that a personal touch is still appreciated by nearly all home buyers, a good sign for all real estate agents.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that by analyzing these real estate statistics from 2016, we can pinpoint just what to expect in the industry this year and help buyers, sellers, and aspiring agents be successful in 2017. It’s clear that technology is having tremendous effects on the industry. An online and social media presence will be key this year for sellers and agents looking to reach the new millennial market of home buyers. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, contact the Keri Shull Team! We’d love to flaunt our stuff and show you why we’re the best real estate team in the DMV. Let’s be successful in 2017 together.