Baby boomers are dominating the housing market, new data shows

The share of first-time buyers in the housing market ticked upward this year, but remained near record lows, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

First-time home buyers made up 32 percent of the market this year, up from 26 percent in 2022 but below an average of 38 percent, the report found.

“First-time buyers tiptoed back into the market this year with less competition and fewer multiple-offer scenarios,” Jessica Lautz, NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research, said in a statement.

The typical age of both first-time and repeat home buyers also fell slightly in 2023, dropping from 36 years to 35 years for those purchasing their first homes and from 59 years to 58 years for those who have previously purchased homes.

While both the average first-time home buyer and average repeat home buyer have gotten older over the last four decades, this change has been more prominent among repeat home buyers.

In the early 1980s, first-time home buyers were typically in their late 20s, and repeat home buyers were typically in their mid 30s. Now, first-time buyers are in their mid 30s, and repeat buyers are in their late 50s.

The annual household income of home buyers also rose 22 percent in the past year, jumping from $88,000 in 2022 to $107,000 in 2023, according to the report released on Monday.

“Given the erosion of housing affordability due to higher home prices and mortgage rates, the household income for those who successfully purchased homes jumped by nearly $20,000 and topped six figures for only the second time in our records,” Lautz added.

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