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8 Million First-Time Homebuyers Primed to Boost Market

Analysis from TransUnion projects at least 8.3 million first-time buyers will enter the housing market between 2020 and 2022, but could expand to 9.2 million if economic growth exceeds expectations.

This a steep increase from the 7.6 million first-time buyers who entered the market between 2016 and 2018. 

TransUnion states this comes at a time when overall homeownership growth has stalled. As of Q2 2019, there were 68.3 million people with a mortgage balance—essentially unchanged from the 68.2 million during Q2 2018. 

The share of consumers with a mortgage balance in Q2 2010 was 73.1 million. 

“While we’ve recently seen a boom in refi activity, actual homeownership rates are down. Challenges have included high home prices, sluggish wage growth and limited housing inventory,” said Joe Mellman, SVP and Mortgage Business Leader at TransUnion. “But we may be starting to see daylight as slowing home price appreciation, low unemployment, increased wage growth and low interest rates are helping affordability. As a result, we are optimistic that first-time homebuyers will contribute more to home ownership than at any time since the start of the Great Recession.”

Of the respondents, 45% said they wanted to seek more privacy and 44% wanted to build equity and wealth. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said not having enough money for a down payment or monthly payments delayed homebuying. Half of those respondents said they believed  they would need a down payment of 10-20%. 

Data also found that first-time buyers are younger today than they were a decade ago. The average age of homebuyers declined from 39 in 2010 to 36 in 2018. 

Consumers between the ages of  25-34 have seen their share of all first-time homebuyers rise by 6%.

“There has been a lot of discussion in the marketplace that younger people today may not be as interested as prior generations in buying a home and being tied down to one location. Our survey results suggest that is not the case at all. Rather, younger people may have in fact been deterred from home purchase by challenges they faced in the financially difficult times of the last decade.” said Mellman. “Only 10% of respondents said being tied down to one location would be a reason to delay home purchase. Just like others before them, the younger generation seem to place value in home ownership.”

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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