The National Association of Realtors has published the latest data on the demographics of first-time home buyers nationwide.
The biggest headline of the study was that the characteristics of first-time homebuyers have not changed much over the past nine years. The study analyzed changes in household composition, median age, racial and ethnic distribution, country of birth and primary language spoken.
Since 2006, the household composition of most first-time homebuyers has remained predominately married couples. They made up 52 percent of first-time buyers last year.
Single women accounted for 22 percent of the group, while single males represented 12 percent.
Over the nine-year period, the percentage of married couples increased from 49 percent to 52 percent, single females’ purchases decreased from 27 percent to 22 percent, with single males and unmarried couples remaining almost the same at about 12 percent each.
The median age of first-time homebuyers has stayed within a narrow range over the last nine years. The average during the period was 31 years old and fluctuated between 30 and 32 years old over the period studied.
The racial and ethnic breakdown of first-time buyers also did not change significantly during the nine-year period.
The percentage of whites increased from 73 percent to 78 percent, while blacks decreased from 11 percent to 7 percent.
Hispanic/Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander homebuyers averaged 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively, and did not trend up or down significantly over the study period.
The report also measured the country of birth and primary language of first-time homebuyers.
The percentage of buyers who were born in the United States was 86 percent in 2006. It increased to 89 percent in 2009 and slipped back down to 86 percent in 2014.
According to the study, 87 percent of first-time buyers were born in the United States, and 13 percent were born in another country. Buyers who primarily spoke English comprised 93 percent of the buyers in the group over the study time frame.
First-time homebuyers typically have less money for a down payment, shorter job histories and fewer established credit accounts. Many have misconceptions about the funds needed and the loan qualification process. Buying a home is not the best decision for some individuals and couples, so gathering some information before looking at homes is smart. A good first step is meeting with a real estate broker, who can go through the pros and cons of buying versus renting. Next, a visit to a lender who specializes in a wide variety of financing programs and can clarify what lending options are available.
At this point, you’ll be in position to make an informed decision on whether buying a home is right for you.
Steve Setka is an exclusive buyer’s agent with Keller Williams Realty in Durango and a licensed mortgage originator. He can be reached at 903-7782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.