What Does the Average First-Time Homebuyer Look Like?

Posted on | July 10, 2019

There are many assumptions made about first-time homebuyers – whether they’re still in their parent’s basement, freaking out about student loan payments, or taking too long to save for their down payment – each homebuyer has a unique scenario.

And in 2016 and early 2017, there were 3.1 million first-time homebuyers with their own singular story.

But what if we look for what the average first-time homeowner currently looks like?

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released a survey that found the common characteristics of buyers in 2017 to create a profile of what the average first-time homebuyer probably resembles.

While these buyers tend to be younger, more diverse, and more likely to have children, they’re also more likely to choose a smaller home to spend less money on housing than previous generations.

According to Harvard’s study, this is what the average first-time homebuyer looks like:

  • Age – under 35
  • Ethnicity – white
  • Marital status – married
  • Children – yes
  • Type of property selected: detached, single-family home
  • Square-footage of property selected – less than 1,500
  • Average home price: less than $200,000

With 36% of Americans planning to buy a home in the next five years compared with 32% when asked in 2017, it looks like purchasing a home is on the horizon for many.

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