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WHO'S BUYING HOMES IN CALIFORNIA, ANYWAY? FIRST-TIMERS CONTINUE TO CROWD MARKET AS INCOME NEEDED TO QUALIFY DROPS, SURVEYS SHOW

 LOS ANGELES, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- As real estate markets in California continue to grapple with the lingering effects of a three- year housing slump, the question arises: Exactly who is buying new homes in California these days?
 According to Kaufman and Broad Home Corp. (NYSE: KBH), California's largest home builder, its typical customer last year was 35 years of age, married with 1.2 children, attended at least some college and enjoyed annual household income of $53,210.
 Those were some of the key findings of the company's research into the demographics and lifestyle preferences of the more than 4,300 Californians who placed orders for the company's new homes during the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 1992. About 3,500 buyers actually participated in the study.
 "While it's not a scientific poll, we believe our buyer survey presents an accurate gauge of the typical home shopper in today's market," said Eric Elder, vice president, sales and marketing. "They also reflect major trends we've been tracking in terms of affordability and the continued influx of first-time buyers."
 More Getting in with Less
 For example, Elder noted that last year's $53,210 average household income among Kaufman and Broad buyers was down significantly from 1991, when the figure stood at $65,750. Average household income was slightly lower in Southern California ($51,250), and higher in Northern California ($55,020). In addition, 67 percent of survey respondents in 1992 indicated they were purchasing their first home, compared to 59 percent the year before.
 "Because of the historic confluence of lower home prices and low mortgage interest rates, many more families are qualifying for home ownership today, in contrast to the situation we saw two or three years ago. In many areas, families can qualify with total household income of as little as $35,000," he said.
 Kaufman and Broad's average statewide new home sales price was $164,000 in 1992, compared to $176,000 the year before. Prices start as low as the $80,000s in some communities.
 Buyers Older, With Fewer Children
 As for demographic trends, Elder reported that the typical home buyer's age of 35 was unchanged from 1991, but is up from earlier years, confirming marketwide studies which show people are waiting longer before they take the plunge. In addition, the average of 1.2 children per household was down from 1.9 in 1991, while the average age of children living at home increased from 9.1 to 12.5.
 "Again, we believe this reflects the fact that more first-time buyers are entering the market," Elder said. "Many are young families just starting out; in fact, 46 percent of our buyers last year said they had no children, even though 65 percent said they were married."
 "Cocooning" More Popular; Ford Beats Toyota
 One clearly emerging trend is toward more at-home entertainment. Fully 78 percent of those responding said they owned a videocassette player, while 69 percent own stereo equipment and 53 percent said they subscribed to cable television. In addition, 46 percent reported owning exercise equipment, while 31 percent said they own a home computer.
 When asked about automobile preferences, Ford edged out Toyota as the most popular make among those responding, with Honda in third place. Looking into home buyers' wallets, Kaufman and Broad found that Visa was the most popular credit card, with 65 percent saying they held a Visa account, compared to 43 percent for MasterCard and only 20 percent who said they didn't leave home without their American Express card. When they go shopping, Kaufman and Broad buyers listed clothes, health and beauty products, and auto supplies as their top three most frequent purchases.
 Today's home buyers are also well-educated, Kaufman and Broad found, with 47 percent indicating they either graduated from or attended some college, and 12 percent reporting they held an advanced degree or at least attended some graduate school.
 Finally, most home buyers didn't take long to make their decision, Elder noted, with 52 percent reporting they shopped four months or less before purchasing. On the other hand, approximately 26 percent said they shopped six months or longer before signing on the dotted line.
 Los Angeles-based Kaufman and Broad is California's largest home builder and among the largest builders in metropolitan Paris, where the company develops commercial office properties and a variety of residential investment properties in addition to single-family homes. The company also recently expanded its home building operations into Nevada and Arizona.
 KAUFMAN AND BROAD HOME CORP.
 1992 California Buyer Profiles and Trends
 The following data were extrapolated from surveys of approximately 3,500 California customers who entered into new home sales agreements with Kaufman and Broad during 1992. (Note: In areas where results do not total 100 percent, top responses are shown. On some questions results may total more than 100 percent because of multiple responses.)
 Previous Home Ownership Average Age: 35
 Rented 67.1 pct
 Owned 20.2 pct Average Household
 No response 12.7 pct Income: $53,210
 Household Composition Ethnicity
 Married 65.0 pct Caucasian 50.7 pct
 Single 21.7 pct Asian/Pacific Islander 13.9 pct
 Unmarried couple 7.0 pct Latino 12.9 pct
 No response 6.3 pct African American 7.6 pct
 No response 14.9 pct
 Number of Children Number of Children at Home
 Zero 46.1 pct Zero 61.4 pct
 One 19.3 pct One 16.1 pct
 Two 20.2 pct Two 15.1 pct
 Three 9.1 pct Three 5.3 pct
 Four or more 5.3 pct Four or more 1.8 pct
 Top Occupations Average Number of Children: 1.2
 Admin./Management 9.4 pct
 Engineering 6.1 pct Average Age of Children: 12.5
 Sales 3.0 pct
 Law enforcement 2.7 pct Years of Education
 Retired 2.5 pct Completed high school 40.5 pct
 Military 2.0 pct At least some college 47.2 pct
 Teacher 1.9 pct At least some graduate
 Nurse 1.8 pct school 12.3 pct
 Favorite Auto Makers Favorite Television Shows
 Ford 6.2 pct "Cheers" 3.7 pct
 Toyota 5.9 pct. "Home Improvement" 3.3 pct
 Honda 4.6 pct "Star Trek" 2.9 pct
 Chevrolet 3.7 pct "60 Minutes" 2.7 pct
 Nissan 3.7 pct
 Favorite Hobbies Consumer Products Owned
 Camping 2.2 pct VCR 77.9 pct
 Fishing 1.8 pct Stereo system 69.3 pct
 Reading 1.3 pct Cable TV service 53.6 pct
 Biking 1.0 pct Exercise equipment 45.9 pct
 Skiing 0.9 pct Home computer 30.9 pct
 Security system 16.9 pct
 Investments Frequent Purchases
 Checking account 82.3 pct Clothing 41.7 pct
 Savings account 74.0 pct Health/beauty 41.6 pct
 IRA 29.0 pct Auto supplies 16.0 pct
 Stocks 19.5 pct Toys/games 15.0 pct
 Bonds 11.7 pct Home improvement 17.4 pct
 Certificates of Audio/visual/electronic 10.9 pct
 deposit 10.3 pct Jewelry 3.2 pct
 Credit Cards Held Favorite Department Stores
 Visa 65.3 pct Mervyn's 9.6 pct
 Department stores 55.4 pct Macy's 9.5 pct
 MasterCard 42.7 pct The Broadway 5.1 pct
 Gasoline 32.7 pct May Co. 5.0 pct
 American Express 20.3 pct Nordstrom 3.6 pct
 Discover 17.4 pct
 -0- 5/5/93
 /CONTACT: Bernard Sandalow of Kaufman and Broad, 310-443-8040/
 (KBH)


CO: Kaufman and Broad Home Corp. ST: California IN: CST SU:

JB-MS -- LA017 -- 4868 05/05/93 12:32 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1993
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