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February 2020

Homebuyers say "moving for a better home" is primary reason for their move

February 6, 2020

Homebuyers move for many reasons, with "move for a better home" leading the list among both first-time buyers and trade-up buyers.

The National Association of Home Builders used data from the 2017 American Housing Survey (AHS) to create a profile of home buyers who purchased within the two years prior to 2017.

The research revealed that 65% of first-time buyers were more likely to move for a better home, while 49% of trade-up buyers listed this reason. Not surprisingly, even wider margins were found when comparing those who said they moved to "form a household."  Among first-timers, 61% cited this reason, compared to only 25% of trade-up buyers.

About the same shares of first-time home purchasers (49%) and trade-up buyers (45%) said they moved for "a better neighborhood."

An estimated 18%-to-22% said being closer to a family, reducing housing costs, or changes in the household were their reasons for moving.

Smaller shares of all buyers reported moving "for a job" (14%) and "to reduce their commute" (12%).

The AHS is a nationally representative survey of residential structures in the US and of the households that occupy them. It is sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the Census Bureau biennially in odd-numbered years.