In 1981 when NAR first started tracking the data, the average age of a first-time homebuyer was 29. They made up 44 percent of all homebuyers. In contrast, in 2018, the average age of a first-time homebuyer was 46 and they accounted for 33 percent of all homebuyers.
Mortgage rates declined, starting the new year 2019 with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipping to 4.5 percent last week from 5 percent a month ago.
Seasonality plays an important role in the housing market since it has an impact on the housing demand and supply.
From September–November 2018, 76 percent of contracts settled on time (75 percent in November 2017).
When deciding on a home to purchase, recent buyers took into consideration a variety of different environmental features. The feature that was most important to buyers was heating and cooling costs.
Survey respondents reported that properties were typically on the market for 42 days (36 days in October 2018; 40 days in November 2017).
The slight uptick in first-time homebuying activity may be due to buyers seeking to take advantage of current rates in anticipation of potential higher mortgage rates in 2019.
At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago.
The states with the highest estimated median property values in 2018 are The District of Columbia ($677,473), Hawaii ($649,272), California ($566,311), Massachusetts ($428,161) and Washington ($384,740).
How will declining home prices affect current homeowners and how does the current decline in home prices in some areas compare with the home equity gains?
Search Economists' Outlook