Lauren Bunting

Lauren Bunting

(Jan. 13, 2023) The National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report shows that first-time home buyers have dropped to their lowest numbers on record.

NAR further reported that the age of the typical first-time buyer increased to a record high of 36. These changes are amid higher home prices, bidding wars and fierce competition for limited inventory.

“It’s not surprising that the share of first-time buyers shrank to the lowest level ever recorded given the housing market’s combination of historically low inventory, persistently high home prices and rapidly escalating interest rates,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “Those who have housing equity hold the cards, and they’ve fared very well in the current real estate market. First-time buyers are older as a result of saving for down payments for longer periods of time or relying on a generational transfer of wealth to propel them into homeownership.”

First-time buyers comprised just 26 percent of all buyers in 2022, down from 34 percent the year before.

But this should not be surprising since buyers are facing tight inventory, rising home prices, rising rents and many first-time buyers have high student debt loads.

The NAR report showed that saving for a down payment is the biggest obstacle to homeownership cited by first-time buyers.

Twenty-two percent of first-time buyers have used a gift or loan from friends and family to come up with a down payment, according to the NAR study. The typical down payment for first-time buyers was 6 percent in 2022.

– Lauren Bunting is the Broker of Record for Keller Williams Realty of Delmarva in Ocean City.

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