The Latest Facts and Figures about Buyers and Sellers in Florida

A detailed look at who’s buying, who’s selling, which properties are most attractive and how people deal with the entire process.

What does the typical Florida home buyer or seller look like?

Each year, the National Association of Realtors does a deep dive into who’s buying and selling homes. The facts and figures about buyers and sellers in Florida included in the report offer insights into the Sunshine State’s unique housing market.

Here are some highlights from the latest report from 2020:

Characteristics of Florida homebuyers

  • First-time buyers made up 23 percent of Florida home buyers, compared to 31 percent across the country.
  • The typical buyer was 56 years old and had a median income of $90,500.
  • Sixty-one percent of recent buyers were married couples, 21 percent were single females, eight percent were single males, and nine percent were unmarried couples.
  • Twelve percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, for cost savings, and to spend more time with aging parents.
  • Ninety-one percent of recent home buyers identified as heterosexual, four percent as gay or lesbian, and one percent as bisexual.
  • Twenty percent of recent home buyers are veterans and two percent are active-duty service members in Florida.
  • At 22 percent, the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own.

Characteristics of Florida homes purchased

  • Buyers of new homes made up 24 percent and buyers of previously owned homes made up 76 percent. Only 15 percent of buyers across the U.S. purchased new homes.
  • In Florida, 48 percent of new home buyers were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity and 39 percent of previously owned homes were looking for a better overall value.
  • Detached single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recent buyers at 78 percent, followed by nine percent of buyers choosing townhomes or row houses.
  • Thirteen percent of Florida buyers bought senior-related homes.
  • There was a median of only 10 miles between the homes that recent buyers purchased and the homes that they moved from. Across the U.S., it was 15 miles.
  • Home prices increased again this year to a median of $276,000 among Florida buyers. Buyers typically purchased their homes for 98 percent of the asking price.
  • The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,960 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1999.
  • Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 15 years, while 43 percent say that they plan to live in their homes for 16 or more years.

The home search process

  • For 44 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale, while 17 percent of buyers first contacted a real estate agent.
  • Recent buyers found their real estate agent to be the most useful information source, with 79 percent citing them as very useful, followed by mobile or tablet search devices at 76 percent.
  • Buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of nine homes, four of which were viewed solely online.
  • In Florida, those who searched via desktop/laptop looked at nine homes over 10 weeks; those who searched via mobile devices looked at nine homes over nine weeks.
  • Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 86 percent of buyers found photos, and 86 percent also found detailed information about properties for sale very useful.
  • Sixty-one percent of recent Florida buyers were very satisfied with their recent home buying process, with an additional 31 percent being satisfied.

Home buying and real estate professionals

  • Eighty-five percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, and 12 percent purchased directly from a builder or builder’s agent.
  • Having an agent to help them find the right home was what buyers wanted most when choosing an agent at 52 percent.
  • Thirty-seven percent of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative and 11 percent used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home.
  • Sixty-six percent of buyers interviewed only one real estate agent during their home search.
  • Eighty-seven percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.

Financing the home purchase

  • Eighty percent of recent buyers in Florida financed their home purchase. Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 87 percent.
  • First-time Florida buyers who financed their home typically financed 94 percent of their home compared to repeat buyers at 84 percent.
  • For 57 percent of buyers, the source of the downpayment came from their savings. Forty-one percent of buyers cited using the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence, which was the next most commonly reported way of securing a downpayment.
  • Seven percent of buyers said saving for a downpayment was the most difficult step.
  • In Florida, 26 percent had credit card debt, 20 percent had car loans, 16 percent reported having student loan debt, and 16 percent cited high rent/current mortgage payment.
  • Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Eighty-three percent reported they view a home purchase as a good investment.

Home sellers and their selling experience

  • The typical home seller was 62 years old, with a median household income of $94,500.
  • For all sellers, the most commonly cited reason for selling their home was the desire to move closer to friends and family (15 percent), followed by moving due to retirement (14 percent), because their home was too small (10 percent), and a change in family situation (10 percent).
  • Sellers typically lived in their home for nine years before selling.
  • Eighty-nine percent of Florida home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home.
  • For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median 98 percent of the final listing price.
  • Recently sold homes were on the market for a median of four weeks.
  • Thirty-two percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers in Florida.
  • This year, Florida home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $69,500 more than they purchased it.
  • Sixty-seven percent of sellers were very satisfied with the selling process.

Home selling and real estate professionals

  • Thirty-eight percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative and 24 percent used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home.
  • Sixty-eight percent of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home.
  • Ninety-five percent of sellers in Florida listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home.
  • Seventy-nine percent of sellers reported that they provided the agent’s compensation.
  • The typical Florida seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home. Thirty-six percent of sellers recommended their agent three or more times since selling their home.
  • Eighty-eight percent said that they would definitely (74 percent) or probably (14 percent) recommend their agent for future services.


Click the blue button below to download the full report. If you are visually impaired and need assistance reading the report, please contact Erica Plemmons at 407.438.1400. 

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