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First-Time Buyers Earn $30,000 More Than Their Peers Who Didn't Buy a Home

For buyers entering the housing market for the first time, the median household income isn't enough, according to a new RealEstate.com report

SEATTLE, Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Buying a home is one of the most expensive transactions most Americans will make in their life, and breaking into the housing market can be especially difficult for first-time buyers. A new RealEstate.com analysis finds that the typical first-time buyer earns more than the median household income, helping them afford to buy a home.

The median income for a first-time buyer is $72,500, compared with the national median household income of $60,700. The difference in income for first-time buyers is more pronounced when compared with their peers who didn't buy, who have a median income of $42,500, according to the 2018 Zillow® Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

Most buyers rely on savings to finance a down payment, but the second-highest source for a down payment comes from the proceeds from a previous home salei. Buyers entering the market for the first time don't have this resource, though, so a higher income helps them set aside enough for a down payment.

First-time home buyers tend to put down slightly smaller down payments, with a median down payment of 14.5 percent of a home's price, rather than the traditional 20 percent down payment. By comparison, 58 percent of repeat buyers put down at least 20 percentii. With this smaller down payment, first-time buyers earning the median income could afford to buy a $338,000 home, meaning they could buy about 68 percent of available homesiii.

"Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a major step in a lot of people's lives," said Justin LaJoie, RealEstate.com General Manager. "But with home prices climbing ever higher, and inventory yet to see sustained increases, getting a foot in the door is incredibly difficult for new buyers who can't rely on selling another home to come up with a down payment."

These are the markets where first-time buyers can afford the largest and smallest shares of listingsiv:


Largest Share of Listings Affordable


Smallest Share of Listings Affordable


Metropolitan Area

Share Affordable


Metropolitan Area

Share Affordable

1.

St. Louis, MO

83.7%

1.

Los Angeles, CA

25.4%

2.

Pittsburgh, PA

81.7%

2.

San Jose, CA

28.4%

3.

Hartford, CT

81.5%

3.

San Diego, CA

30.4%

4.

Buffalo, NY

80.7%

4.

San Francisco, CA

34.1%

5.

Oklahoma City, OK

79.7%

5.

Miami, FL

39.7%

Zillow Group designed the RealEstate.com search experience to help first-time buyers trying to understand what they can afford with their monthly housing budget. Home shoppers can search RealEstate.com for homes based on the "All-In Monthly Price," which lets people search based on their monthly budget and down payment savings amount. It includes mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities.

Metropolitan Area

 Median First-
time Buyer
Income

Maximum
Price
Affordable to
Median First-
time Buyer

Share of
Homes
Affordable to
Median First-
time Buyer

United States

$ 72,500

$ 338,100

67.7%

New York/Northern New Jersey

$ 95,800

$ 446,800

41.3%

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

$ 90,000

$ 419,600

25.4%

Chicago, IL

$ 87,000

$ 405,800

72.0%

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

$ 88,600

$ 413,000

66.5%

Philadelphia, PA

$ 88,000

$ 410,300

76.6%

Houston, TX

$ 84,900

$ 396,000

70.1%

Washington, DC

$ 132,500

$ 617,800

72.2%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

$ 70,700

$ 329,800

39.7%

Atlanta, GA

$ 86,700

$ 404,500

70.7%

Boston, MA

$ 109,900

$ 512,500

52.0%

San Francisco, CA

$ 133,200

$ 621,100

34.1%

Detroit, MI

$ 73,800

$ 344,300

74.6%

Riverside, CA

$ 79,100

$ 368,800

57.1%

Phoenix, AZ

$ 79,200

$ 369,500

64.1%

Seattle, WA

$ 107,900

$ 503,100

47.6%

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

$ 96,500

$ 450,200

73.3%

San Diego, CA

$ 96,600

$ 450,800

30.4%

St. Louis, MO

$ 78,700

$ 367,200

83.7%

Tampa, FL

$ 70,700

$ 329,800

69.3%

Baltimore, MD

$ 107,100

$ 499,300

77.6%

Denver, CO

$ 98,400

$ 458,800

51.4%

Pittsburgh, PA

$ 75,100

$ 350,400

81.7%

Portland, OR

$ 94,100

$ 438,700

48.8%

Charlotte, NC

$ 83,600

$ 390,000

71.8%

Sacramento, CA

$ 87,200

$ 406,800

45.7%

San Antonio, TX

$ 77,700

$ 362,200

73.4%

Orlando, FL

$ 72,500

$ 337,900

63.4%

Cincinnati, OH

$ 79,500

$ 370,600

78.1%

Cleveland, OH

$ 68,500

$ 319,300

79.2%

Kansas City, MO

$ 81,000

$ 377,600

72.4%

Las Vegas, NV

$ 73,800

$ 344,200

55.3%

Columbus, OH

$ 79,400

$ 370,300

71.2%

Indianapolis, IN

$ 75,000

$ 349,700

73.3%

San Jose, CA

$ 150,900

$ 704,000

28.4%

Austin, TX

$ 99,200

$ 462,600

75.2%

Zillow Group

Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z) (ZG) houses a portfolio of the largest real estate and home-related brands on mobile and the web, which focus on all stages of the home lifecycle: renting, buying, selling and financing. Zillow Group is committed to empowering consumers with unparalleled data, inspiration and knowledge around homes, and connecting them with great real estate professionals. The Zillow Group portfolio of consumer brands includes real estate and rental marketplaces Zillow®, Trulia®, StreetEasy®, HotPads®, Naked Apartments®, RealEstate.com and Out East®. In addition, Zillow Group provides a comprehensive suite of marketing software and technology solutions to help real estate professionals maximize business opportunities and connect with millions of consumers. Zillow Offers™ provides homeowners in some metropolitan areas with the opportunity to receive offers from Zillow. When Zillow buys a home, it will make necessary updates and list the home for resale on the open market. The company operates a number of business brands for real estate, rental and mortgage professionals, including Mortech®, dotloop®, Bridge Interactive® and New Home Feed®. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow, Mortech, Bridge Interactive, StreetEasy, HotPads, Out East and New Home Feed are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Zillow Offers is a trademark of Zillow, Inc. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, LLC. dotloop is a registered trademark of DotLoop, LLC. Naked Apartments is a registered trademark of Naked Apartments, LLC.

i https://www.zillow.com/research/down-payment-trends-22360/
ii https://www.zillow.com/report/2018/buyers/money-home-financing/
iii Assuming a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 5 percent rate
iv Among the 50 largest U.S. metros

 

Cision

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