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Repeat home buyers are getting older By Bay Equity Mortgage

Millennials are the main marketing target when it comes to selling first-time mortgages, and with good reason. After all, there are 80 million of them, the largest generation in American history. 

But it’s also important to realize that while the median age of the first-time homebuyer has been around 32 for a decade, the average age of repeat home buyers has been rising steadily, hitting an all-time high of 55 in 2018. 

A majority of repeat buyers were married couples (57 percent), followed by single females (18 percent). Their median income increased from $97,500 to $100,000 and they spent a median of $280,000 on a home. Median size remained the same as 2017, at 2,000 square feet.
Despite the increasing age of the average home buyer, only 9 percent of older buyers listed downsizing as a factor in their decision to move. 

In fact, 73 percent of buyers purchased a home that was either larger or similar in size to what they previously owned. More than 60 percent of Baby Boomer home buyers said they intended to live out their retirements in their new homes. 

Boomers will account for $1 of every $4 spent on buying homes in the next five years, and as they always have, they’re going to do it “their way.” 

The share of first-time home buyers continued a three-year decline, falling to 33 percent (34 percent last year). This number has not been 40 percent or higher since the first-time home buyers credit ended in 2010. 

Low inventory, rising interest rates and student loan debt are all factors contributing to the suppression of young home buyers. However, existing inventory is rising slowly, which may encourage more would-be buyers to enter the market. 

Overall, buyers paid a median 13 percent down payment, up from 10 percent last year and the highest since 2005. First-time buyers paid a median 7 percent down payment, up from 5 percent last year and the highest since 1997 (9 percent), while repeat buyers paid a median 16 percent, up from last year’s 14 percent and the highest since 2010.