The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows current consumer housing trends that affect first-time buyers, including mounting student debt balances and smaller down payments.
Here are some of the findings:
Characteristics of first-time buyers
The median age of first-time buyers was 32 years old, and first-time buyers saw their household income grow from $72,000 a year ago to $75,000 in 2017. First-time buyers purchased a slightly smaller home (1,640 square feet compared to 1,650 square feet in 2016) that was also more expensive ($190,000 versus $182,500 in 2016). Fewer first-time buyers purchased a home in an urban area (17 percent compared to 20 percent in 2016).
Student debt balances continue to grow, making it more difficult for first-time house hunters to break into the market. The report found that over 40 percent of first-time buyers had student debt, and the typical debt balance increased in the last year from $26,000 to $29,000.
“The homeownership rate has fallen, and fallen more steeply among younger generations, in a large part because of student debt delaying their ability to buy a home, typically by seven years,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR).
The increase in home prices pulled the typical down payment for first-time home buyers to 5 percent, compared to 6 percent in 2016. The primary source of funding for a down payment among first-time buyers was personal savings, followed by a gift from a friend or relative. “More than 50 percent of first-time buyers said it took a year or more to save for a down payment, and 25 percent said saving was the most difficult task in the entire buying process,” Krueger said.
The report also found that nearly 90 percent of all buyers ended up purchasing their home through a real estate agent. Finding the right property to buy and help negotiating the terms of the sale were the most common benefits that buyers wanted from their agent.
For more information about buying or selling a home, contact SIBOR or visit SIBORREALTORS.COM.
About the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)
Established in 1915, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.
SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.
Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.
SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.
All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).