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The State of the First-Time Homebuyer in 2023
AEI
2024.06.11
Against the backdrop of escalating mortgage rates and soaring home prices, the prospect for first-time homebuyers (FTBs) in 2023 appears daunting. The average FTB now faces a significant financial burden, with monthly principal and interest (P&I) payments more than doubling ($2,110 vs $980) compared to a decade ago. However, a deeper examination reveals a story of perseverance and progress, albeit with increased exposure to debt and risk.
Despite the increasingly challenging road to homeownership, FTBs are making their mark in the housing market. The proportion of FTBs among agency home purchase loans has surged to its highest level since 2013, accompanied by a notable rise in representation from diverse demographics.
Our report draws from an array of data sources to provide a nuanced understanding of FTBs’ status in 2023, spanning the nation and its major metropolitan areas. Analyzing the statistics, the typical agency first-time buyer emerges as a resourceful individual with an average credit score of 722, a modest 5% ($13,000) median down payment, and an average age of around 38. To mitigate the significantly larger P&I payment since 2013, the average FTB relies equally on a 54% increase in household income, while also allocating a higher proportion (24% instead of 17%) of their income to P&I, thereby assuming greater risk as they navigate the evolving homeownership landscape.