Zillow's Cody Fuller offers up an analysis of just who exactly today's first-time home buyer is, and finds that they're typically older, focused on condos, and increasingly able to score a loan with a lower credit score.
Today's first-time buyer spends more time renting prior to buying--and are more likely to be single--than in prior years. But, notably, their price-to-income ratio is skewing up given today's rising prices and flat wages.
Homes bought by first-timers cost around $140,000, up from $113,000 in the last 1990s. And that means today's first-time buyer is buying a home priced closer to the middle of the road than what has historically been considered entry level.
... today, first-time buyers buy a home in the 46th percentile (54 percent of homes are more valuable). In 1997, they typically bought a 39th percentile home.
And at the same time as the home value equation is changing, the type of home sought by first-time buyers is also changing: First-time buyers are increasingly purchasing condominiums, at the expense of sales of more traditional single-family homes. The share of condos purchased by first-time buyers has risen to 42 percent, from 28 percent in 2001. Over the same period, the share of single-family homes purchased by first-time buyers has fallen from 71 percent to 58 percent.