Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 14° Clear
News >  Business

First-time U.S. homebuyers are oldest on record and least diverse since 1997

Nov. 3, 2022 Updated Fri., Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:35 p.m.

A typical first-time homebuyer was 36 this year, three years older than in 2021, data from the National Association of Realtors showed.  (Dreamstime/TNS)
A typical first-time homebuyer was 36 this year, three years older than in 2021, data from the National Association of Realtors showed. (Dreamstime/TNS)
By Airielle Lowe Bloomberg News

Both first-time and repeat U.S. homebuyers are now the oldest on record, and the proportion of purchases by Black, Asian and Pacific Island Americans is the lowest since 1997, the latest evidence that it’s increasingly difficult to buy a home.

A typical first-time buyer was 36 this year, three years older than in 2021, data from the National Association of Realtors released Thursday showed. For repeat purchasers, it rose to 59, the NAR said.

The share of first-time homebuyers declined to 26% this year – the lowest since NAR records started in 1981 – and has been under the historical norm of 40% since 2011 “as buyers face tight inventory, rising home prices, rising rents, and high student debt loads,” the NAR said.

Mortgage rates have more than doubled this year, with the affordability crunch sidelining potential buyers, curbing the number of home sales and triggering a decline in residential real-estate prices from their COVID-era peaks.

About 88% of all buyers were white/Caucasian, 6 percentage points more than in 2021.

Just 3% of purchasers were Black – half the figure of 2021 – while the proportion of Asian/Pacific Islander homebuyers fell to 2% from 6% last year, the lowest for both since the earliest data collection of race and ethnicity in 1997.

Similar trends are present for first-time buyers, with the proportion of Black and Asian/Pacific Islander purchasers shrinking relative to 2017.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.