First-time buyers continued to be a driving force in the Illinois housing market as they took advantage of the first-time homebuyer tax credit and the most affordable housing market in years, according to the 2010 Profile of Illinois Home Buyers and Sellers released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR). In fact, 53% of buyers were first-time buyers, compared to 50% nationwide.

Other trends at a glance:

  • When asked about the primary reason for timing of the home purchase, 34% of buyers who responded to the survey said it was just the right time while (27%) cited affordability. Additionally, 72 percent of Illinois buyers took advantage of the homebuyer tax credit that expired last year, according to the survey.
  • The median age of first-time buyers in Illinois was 30 years old, while the typical repeat buyer was 42 years old. Single females accounted for 22 percent of buyers, up from 21 percent the year before. Single males stayed steady at 11 percent.
  • When it came to Illinois sellers, 82 percent were assisted by a real estate agent. The typical Illinois home seller owned their home for eight years and said the primary reason for selling their home was a change in the family situation (23%) or the size of the home was too small (21%).

Find additional details along with charts comparing Illinois buyers and sellers with those nationally in the 2010 Profile of Illinois Home Buyers and Sellers.

Chart: What Illinois buyers want most from real estate professionals

Chart: Adult composition of homebuyer households 2001-2010

Chart: First-time homebuyers (percent of all homebuyers)