More first-time homebuyers take advantage of a low downpayment loan compared to all homebuyers, according to the February 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey Report, a monthly survey of REALTORS® about their sales activity and local market conditions.
Among all buyers whose transaction closed in February 2017, 62 percent of those who obtained a mortgage made a downpayment of less than 20 percent. Among first-time homebuyers who obtained a mortgage and whose transactions closed in December 2016–February 2017, 80 percent made a downpayment of less than 20 percent.
Among first-time homebuyers, 65 percent put down a zero to six percent downpayment, a decrease from the 74 percent share in June 2009 when NAR started collecting this information in the RCI Survey.
The author thanks Danielle Hale, Managing Director, Housing Research; Meredith Dunn, Research Communications Manager; and Amanda Riggs, Research Survey Analyst for their comments. Any errors are attributable to the author.
 To increase the sample size for first-time homebuyers, NAR uses information from the last three surveys.