Survey: first-time buyers slightly younger, single

Zillow reports they’re also waiting for 6 years before buying

Between 2010 and 2013, first-time homebuyers in the U.S. were slightly younger than in the previous four-year period, and they’re more often single, according to a newly released survey from Zillow.

According to the survey, the median age for first-time homebuyers during the period was 32.5, down from 33.3 years in the 2005-2009 period.

Zillow also reported that 40 percent of first-time buyers were married, as opposed to 52 percent in the late 1980s.

The median income for first-time buyers also fell over the same time period, Zillow said, to $54,340 from $58,088, in 2011 dollars. The median home price also fell, to $140,328 from $162,649.

Zillow's also 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 larger amount 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

"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’s chief economist, 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."

Categories: Real Estate & Construction