Washington, D.C. Area Homeowners Willing to Sacrifice, Shop for the Long Term

Inaugural Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report Reveals Buyers Prioritize Cost and Neighborhood When Purchasing a Home

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 9:00 am EDT

As peak homebuying season begins, a large majority (81 percent) of D.C. metro area first-time homebuyers are looking for a home they can grow into, rather than one that fits their needs today, according to the inaugural Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, released today. This is more than the national average (75 percent) and any other market surveyed. Additionally, in order to make homeownership a reality, more D.C. area buyers would be willing to make sacrifices than any other market surveyed (97 percent).

When considering a prospective home, cost (83 percent) and neighborhood (68 percent) are extremely important to D.C. area buyers. Fifty-six percent also consider the floor plan and layout to be very important. Nearly two-thirds of homebuyers in D.C. are interested in buying a single-family home (63 percent) and are looking to settle down in the suburbs (63 percent).

The Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report explores the attitudes, behaviors and preferences of the modern homebuyer, based on a national survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 18 and older who want to buy a home in the future. In addition, comparatively 300 adults were also surveyed in 10 local markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The report reveals what homebuyers want in a home, their catalysts for making the home purchase and the unique preferences of first-time and millennial buyers, defined as those between ages 18 and 34.

Report highlights for Washington, D.C. include:

Washington, D.C. area homebuyers are driven by aspiration and emotion

  • More D.C. first-time buyers are motivated by emotional factors (76 percent) than financial factors (62 percent) when making the decision to buy a home. Specifically, fifty-two percent want a place to call their own, 40 percent cite owning a home as something they have always wanted to do, and 31 percent want a place to make memories.

  • D.C. buyers define homeownership as family (62 percent), happiness (59 percent), responsibility (58 percent), and a place to make memories (57 percent).

Aspiring D.C. homeowners want to save more, willing to sacrifice

  • Sixty-four percent of first-time buyers in D.C. have not purchased a home before now because they did not think they could afford a home or the type of home they would like to buy.

  • Seventy-nine percent of experienced D.C. homebuyers sacrificed something the last time they purchased a home.

Saving for a home as important as saving for retirement

  • Nine in 10 D.C. buyers consider saving for or paying off a home to be important. A similar number (92 percent) believe saving for retirement is important.

  • Understanding the importance of saving for a home, many local first-time buyers said they would appreciate help doing it: 85 percent would use a tool that withdraws money from their paycheck to save for a home purchase.

  • Twenty-seven percent of experienced D.C. homebuyers spent more than what they budgeted on the total cost of their first home.

Local millennial homebuyers look to parents for help buying and moving into a new home

  • Sixty-four percent of millennial homebuyers in Washington, D.C. expect some kind of assistance from their parents when buying a home, ranging from financial support to assistance moving in.

For additional information about the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, please click here.


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About the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report
Braun Research, Inc. (an independent market research company) conducted a nationally representative, online survey on behalf of Bank of America January 27–February 21, 2016. Braun surveyed 1,001 respondents throughout the U.S., comprised of adults 18+ who want to buy a home in the future. In addition, comparatively 300 adults were also surveyed in 10 local markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Braun also interviewed a total of 801 millennials (defined as 18–34 years old) in the national U.S. sample. The n=801 millennials are comprised of n=376 completes that came from the main, national sample. The remaining n=425 were obtained from an oversample of additional millennials to achieve the total n of 801. The margin of error for the national quota is +/- 3.0 percent; about +/- 5.7 percent for the oversampled markets; and about +/-3.5 percent for the national millennial group, with each reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 32 million active users and approximately 19 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Kris Yamamoto, Bank of America, 1.805.526.1910