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Report: Share of first time homebuyers shrinks – Spectrum News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of first-time homebuyers in the U.S. is shrinking and getting older than ever, according to a National Association of Realtors report.

What You Need To Know

  • The share of first-time homebuyers is shrinking due to high prices, low inventory and high interest rates, according to the National Association of Realtors
  • First-time homebuyers are older than ever, at 36, according to an NAR report
  • A Charlotte real estate agent said she’s noticing a shift with increased interest from first time buyers

The NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers surveyed homebuyers from July 2021 to June this year. 

The report attributed high prices, low inventory and higher interest rates as contributing factors to the findings. 

According to Canopy Realtor Association and Canopy Realtor MLS President Lee Allen, the median sale price in the Charlotte area in October 2022 was $379,450, compared with $335,000 a year ago.

The challenge is the affordability index — how much you have to make to afford that first-time home. Folks that are looking to purchase and the interest rates price them out are having to back up and say, ‘Well, maybe I’ll have to go ahead and rent,’ unfortunately,” Allen said. 

The report estimated the average first-time homebuyer to be 36, which is up from 33 a year ago.

“One of the other challenges, those buyers are actually saving a little more money and delaying that purchase because the interest rates to get into that first home,” Allen said. 

He said while interest rates are more than double the 2.8% in 2020, the rates are still considered to be at a median level historically.

Allen said that according to the NAR, a year ago a homeowner needed a median income of $60,000 to buy a median-priced home; that number is now $90,000, which is all due to interest rates. 

Charlotte real estate agent Sheila Theriault said this trend is shifting, with more people interested in making the leap and buying their first home. 

On Thursday, she and her colleagues hosted a free seminar to educate first-time homebuyers about the market and the homebuying process and to dispel myths. 

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She said some of those myths include not being able to afford to buy a house, seeing the process as complicated and needing a 20% down payment to buy a house.

“I feel they are shying away. If you can get in front of them somehow. Social media is another great way to do that: doing reels or doing videos to give them statistics and give them information. Any way we can get in front of them and educate about the market and about the process,” Theriault said. 

She told homebuyers attending the seminar the best time to buy their new home, if they can, is now. 

“The [houses] are sitting on the market a little bit longer. You have time to look at them. You don’t have a 15-minute window to make a decision. Today you don’t have to do that, you have the time to make a good decision for yourself,” Threriault said. 

According to the Canopy Realtor Association, in the Charlotte area, 96% of homes are selling at listing price, which is lower than last year. On average, homes are on the market for 27 days, which is 10 days more than in 2021. 

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