Boomers Dominate Housing Market As Affordability Plummets

According to a new poll by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), first-time homebuyers are up somewhat from last year. Still, the aggregate numbers were very near to all-time lows.

In 2023, first-time buyers accounted for 32% of the market, according to the poll. This was greater than their 26 percent share in 2022 but lower than the average of 38 percent.

The NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research, Jessica Lautz, said in a statement that first-time buyers cautiously returned to the market this year because of a few coinciding benchmarks. With less competition and fewer instances of multiple offer scenarios, first-time buyers carefully put their toes back in the water.

The median age of first-time homebuyers dropped from 36 in 2017 to 35 in 2023, while the median age of subsequent buyers dropped from 59 in 2017 to 58 in 2023. In 2023, the median age of first-time purchasers was 35 years old, while the median age of repeat buyers was 58 years old.

Over the past four decades, repeat homebuyers have become increasingly common, even though both the average age of first-time buyers and the average age of repeat buyers have risen over the same time period.

In the early 1980s, the typical first-time homebuyer was in their late twenties, while the standard repeat buyer was in mid-thirties. First-time buyers tend to be in their mid-30s, while repeat buyers are often in their late 50s.

The report published on Monday showed that the yearly family income of home purchasers has climbed by 22 percent over the previous year, climbing from $88,000 in 2022 to $107,000 in 2023.
While home ownership is becoming less affordable due to rising property and mortgage rates, homeowners’ income has climbed by almost $20,000, reaching six figures for the second time in our records, according to Lautz.

This has only happened twice before.