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Today's First-Time Homebuyers Older, More Often Single

Zillow's analysis of first-time homebuyers found they are renting for six years before buying, compared to an average of 2.6 years in the 1970s

- Americans are renting more than twice as long before buying their first home as they did in the 1970s.

- First-time homebuyers are older and less likely to be married than they were in the past.

- Americans are buying increasingly expensive first homes and spending more relative to their incomes than any time in the past 40 years.

Aug 17, 2015

SEATTLE, Aug. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's first-time homebuyer is older and more likely to be single than first-time homebuyers in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a new Zillow® analysisi.

Zillow's study found that Americans are renting for an average of six years before buying their first homes. In the 1970s, they rented for an average of 2.6 years. They're also spending a bigger chunk of their incomes to buy: In the 1970s, first-time homebuyers bought homes that cost about 1.7 times their annual income. Now they're buying homes that cost 2.6 times their annual income.

Part of that can be attributed to the housing markets where millennials are moving: more expensive cities on the coasts, where there are growing job markets.

The average first-time homebuyer is about 33, at the front end of the millennial generation. Their median income is $54,340, which is about the same as what first-time homebuyers made in the 1970s, when adjusted for inflation.

In the late 1980s, 52 percent of first-time homebuyers were married. Today, only 40% were married.

"Millennials are delaying all kinds of major life decisions, like getting married and having kids, so it makes sense that they would also delay buying a home," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "We know millennials value home-ownership and want to buy. The next challenge will be figuring out how they can save for a down payment and qualify for a mortgage, especially while the rental market is so unaffordable all over the country. The last hurdle will be finding a home they like amidst very tight inventory, especially among starter homes."

Years

Median Age

Median Income (in 2011 dollars)

Median Home Price (in 2011 dollars)

Price-to-Income

Percent Married

Number of Family Members

Median Years Renting

1970-1974

30.6

$52,831.53

$87,371.37

1.7

Not available

3

2.6

1974-1979

29

$54,869.55

$98,772.99

1.8

Not available

2.6

4.6

1980-1984

29.6

$51,178.56

$102,367.05

2

Not available

2

5

1985-1989

30.4

$58,296.90

$107,942.98

1.9

52%

2.4

4.4

1990-1994

32.2

$52,400.80

$98,697.29

1.9

44%

2

5

1995-1999

33.3

$51,418.35

$112,528.86

2.2

44%

2.3

5.5

2000-2004

33.5

$58,738.00

$144,796.52

2.5

47%

2

5.5

2005-2009

33.3

$58,087.91

$162,648.76

2.8

40%

2

6

2010-2013

32.5

$54,339.84

$140,327.58

2.6

40%

2

6

About Zillow

Zillow® is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow's Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. Dr. Gudell and her team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 450 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. Zillow also sponsors the bi-annual Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI) which measures consumer confidence in local housing markets, both currently and over time. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group (NASDAQ: Z), and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.

i Zillow analyzed data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics between 1970 and 2013

 

SOURCE Zillow

For further information: Emily Heffter, Zillow, 206-757-2701 or press@zillow.com


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