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Nearly half buying for the first time

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Per Zillow, the median age of home buyers is now 36, and fully half of home buyers is a Millennial. What is more, almost half of Zillow’s sample wants a new home vs. a resale. The latest Existing Home Sales data from the NAR as much as confirms that first-time buyers have already opened the sluice gates, accounting for 34% of home resales in the month of September, vs. 31% in August, and 30% for all of 2015. The learning for residential developers and home builders to take out of this is not about the broad waves of behavior around homeownership or not. It’s about an entirely new set of decision-support tools and analysis dashboards younger households are working with today to enlighten their pathways vis a vis housing preference, value, and behavior.

 

Nearly half buying for the first time

First-time buyers, a group that makes up almost half (47 percent) of the buying market, have a median age of 33 and nearly six in 10 are Millennials (56 pe
rce
nt). They spend a median of $200,000 on a home. They are more likely than repeat buyers to be torn between buying and renting, with almost four in 10 seriously considering renting (37 percent, compared to just 12 percent of repeat buyers).

Repeat buyers are older, with a median age of 42. They have a preference for single-family homes over other home types, and pay an average of 18 percent more than first-timers for their home ($235,000 median price). Repeat buyers are slightly less decisive about location, with almost one in five (18 percent) purchasing a home in an area that is outside their initial search criteria, compared to just 14 percent of first-time buyers.