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Despite recent rising sales, first-time purchases are not yet back to normal 

First time purchases

The Millennial consumer

In 2015, the Millennial generation became the largest numerical segment of America's workforce. In 2016, they will become the largest percentage of the workforce. Although Millennials have been slow to enter the housing market, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) indicates that 91 percent of Millennials report that they want to get married and own a home. As they do so - and many have already bought homes - they will become the largest generation of homebuyers in American history. In the first edition of the Insights report, professor Steve Malpezzi of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business provides information and insights about your future customers.

First-time homebuyer market share

Recent research from NAR found that first-time homebuyers currently make up a third of the market, which is the lowest share since NAR began its Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey 15 years ago. Over the long run and excluding a few outliers from the years of an unsustainable housing boom, the share is usually around 40 percent. When breaking down a single year’s first-time homebuyers as a fraction of all households, by age of the household head, young adults ages 20 to 35 drive the first-time homebuyer market. While first-time homebuyers can be any age, first-time homebuying typically peaks around age 30. NAR’s survey found that Millennials in 2014 comprised 32 percent of all homebuyers, outpacing: Generation X between the ages of 35 to 49, which are 27 percent of buyers; Baby Boomers between the ages of 50 to 68, which are 31 percent of buyers; and the older “Silent Generation,” which are 69 years and old and up, which are 10 percent of first-time buyers. 
First Time Home Buyers Share of Market
Source: National Association of REALTORS® .    


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