Half of all buyers are first-timers in 2023

by Emily Marek

First-time homebuyers make up 50% of all homebuyers in 2023, according to the latest Consumer Housing Trends Report from Zillow. They made up 45% of buyers in 2022 and 37% in 2021.

This is likely due in part to the fact that a majority of current homeowners have mortgage rates under 5% and simply aren’t looking to re-enter the market. Zillow found that these homeowners are half as likely to consider moving than first-time buyers.

“High mortgage rates and a shortage of inventory is keeping would-be repeat buyers in their current homes,” said Zillow Senior Population Scientist Manny Garcia. “A greater relative share of first-time buyers is filling the gap, and they’re competing against each other for the limited number of affordable starter homes on the market.”

Zillow also found that nearly half of all first-time homebuyers — 49% — are millennials, aged 29 to 43. Gen Z buyers made up 27% of all first time buyers this year.

First-time buyers were also the most likely to be denied financing when seeking a mortgage, with 34% of those surveyed saying they were denied at least once before ultimately getting approved.

Furthermore, first-time buyers highly valued real estate agents who helped them to decide the details of their offers, as well as those who organized and submitted paperwork and identified possible homes.

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