Decoding the first-time homebuyer – One in five young Americans gearing up for home ownership
May 30th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Decoding the first-time homebuyer – One in five young Americans gearing up for home ownership

The US housing market appears to be on the cusp of stabilization after a period of falling prices and amidst rising mortgage rates, according to Goldman Sachs. In this climate, how likely are consumers to consider buying a new home?

According to data from YouGov Profiles, an audience intelligence tool, 8% of US consumers are currently planning to purchase a home for the first time. Looking at the age demographics, more than a quarter of adults aged 35 to 44 are most likely to purchase a home for the first time (28%) followed closely by those aged 25-34 (25%). Interestingly, women represent a slightly larger share of these prospective first-time home buyers (54%) as compared to men (46%).

Regarding income, two in five prospective first-time homebuyers belong to lower (less than 75% of the median) and middle-income groups (between 75% and 200% of the median), while those earning more than 200% of the median income constitute a smaller share (11%).

A deeper dive into the demographic characteristics of first-time homebuyers reveals that the largest proportion is married (43%), followed by singles (29%), and those living with a partner but not married or in a civil partnership (11%).

The role of pets in this demographic is intriguing. First-time prospective homebuyers are more likely to have dogs in comparison to the general public (51% vs 46%). They are also four percentage points more likely than all Americans to own a cat (38% vs 34%). Fish owners represent a smaller fraction too (7%). This trend suggests that the demand for pet-friendly living environments may be a significant motivator for first-time home purchases.

When examining the strategies potential first-time homebuyers employ to search for property, an interesting diversity emerges. Just over a quarter (26%) prefer conducting their search entirely online, while nearly the same proportion (24%) lean towards a predominantly online search supplemented with some offline efforts. Interestingly, one-fifth of consumers balance their property hunt equally between online and offline channels (21%). This mix of property search styles emphasizes the significance of both digital and traditional channels in today's home-buying journey.

Drawing together all these insights, it's clear that the demographic of first-time homebuyers in the US is a diverse group.

To delve deeper into this topic, we encourage you to download our First Home Buyers Report.

This extensive study uncovers where the hot spots are, and what's motivating this purchase. It also provides insight into the affordability range and the banks and mortgage lenders that are topping their consideration sets. This report is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of the current US housing market.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US market is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.  

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