How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse?

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Using data from NAR’s 2006-2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, we can examine how the demographics of first-time homebuyers have changed over the last 9 years. What do these numbers show us about the diversity of buyers, and what insight can they provide for the future.

The demographic characteristics of first-time buyers overall has remained consistent over the last 9 years with slight increases and decreases.

Household Composition of First-Time Buyers:

  • Since 2006 the distribution of first-time buyers’ household composition has remained predominantly married couples, making up an average of 52% of first-time buyers.
  • On average 22% of first-time buyers were single females and 12% were single males or unmarried couples.

Median Age of First-Time Buyers:

  • The median age of first-time buyers has remained within a 3 year age gap between 30-32 years old.
  • The average median age of first-time buyers since 2006 was 31 years old.

Racial and Ethnic Distribution of First-Time Buyers:

  • The racial and ethnic distribution of first-time buyers has remained predominately White/Caucasian, making up an average of 77% of first-time buyers since 2006.
  • The averages of other races and ethnicities are:
    • Black/African American: 8%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 8%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 7%
    • Other: 3%

Country of Birth of First-Time Buyers:

  • Since 2006 the number of first-time buyers who were born in the U.S. has increased and then decreased settling back to 86% in 2014, the same as in 2006.
  • On average 87% of first-time buyers were born in the U.S. and 13% were born outside of the U.S.

Primary Language Spoken by First-Time Buyers:

  • Over the last 9 years, English has remained the primary language of first-time buyers.
  • On average 7% of first-time buyers spoke other languages, while 93% spoke primarily English.

The Future of First-Time Buyers:

  • While the demographics of first-time buyers over the last 9 years have not necessarily seen great changes, there is still the outlook for the future.
  • William Frey, of the Brookings Institution, recently published the book “Diversity Explosion” which looks at the demographic future of America.
  • Frey expounds that America is becoming a country with no racial majority, with a dramatic growth of young minority populations expected.
  • Frey predicts that sometime after 2040 there will be no racial majority; this would ultimately change the demographics of the first-time homebuyers moving towards greater diversity.

2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and William Frey’s book Diversity Explosion

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