First-time homebuyers are essential to the health of the housing market. They make up a large chunk of total home sales. But who is the typical first-time homebuyer, what do they buy, and how expensive is it?
A recent study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies took a look at buyers over the past few years and broke down the profile of the average first-time homebuyer.
According to the study, the typical first-time homebuyer is under the age of 35, is married, and has children. Not surprisingly, the house they buy tends to be smaller and less expensive than those purchased by repeat buyers. According to the report, “43 percent of first-time buyers in 2017 purchased homes with less than 1,500 square feet of living space, compared with 27 percent of repeat buyers.”
They generally buy a detached single-family home and pay less than $200,000 for it – only 12 percent pay $400,000 or more for their house. The report also points out the challenges ahead for younger buyers, specifically the lower-than-normal number of available homes in their price range and the need for more affordable housing options.