What is the difference between first-time buyers who bought a home and those who didn't? According to an analysis by RealEstate.com, it could well be $30,000—the median income difference between those first-time buyers who could afford a home and those who couldn't.
The analysis said that the typical first-time buyer earned more than the median household income that helped them towards affording a home.
The analysis revealed that 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.
The analysis found that while most buyers relied on savings as well as proceeds from the sale of a home to finance the down payment on a new property, first-time buyers didn't have the same resources. This is where a higher income came into play to help them save for a down payment.
"Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a major step in a lot of people's lives," said Justin LaJoie, General Manager at RealEstate.com. "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."
Looking at the down payment that first-time buyers could afford, the analysis revealed that this group of homebuyers usually put down slightly smaller down payments. The median down payment for first-time buyers according to Zillow was 14.5 percent of a home price compared to the traditional 20 percent down. Fifty-eight percent of repeat buyers, on the other hand, put down at least 20 percent down payment.
With this smaller down payment, the analysis indicated, first-time buyers, earning a median income could afford to buy a $338,000 home, meaning they could buy about 68 percent of available homes.