Zillow’s 2018 Consumers Market Trend Index singled out First Time Buyers within the structure of its latest report. Here are some of the things Zillow’s expert researchers and economists found most relevant about 46% of the home buying public in 2018 so far.

Millennials, ages 24 – 38 years old, who decide to step into the home buying market despite knowing little about the buying process use their assets to accomplish their homeownership goals. Those assets include being well educated, diverse (28%), partnered (72%), determined and willing to compromise to get “: their” house.

The average age of a first time homebuyer is 34 years; compared to 52 years, the average age of a repeat buyer. A whopping 66% of all first time buyers are either Gen Zers or Millenials. 24% are Gen Xers, 10% are Boomers and 1% is Silent Geners.

Comparing first time household buyers with repeat household buyers, first timers have a median income of $72,500 and repeaters have a median income of $77,500. Since repeaters are older, they have more assets (proceeds from a former house sale, retirement funds, etc.) with which to execute down payments and monthly mortgage payments on a residential property.

How else do first timers and repeaters compare? Both want a single-family home with 3 bedrooms and approximately 2,000 square feet.


First Timers                                          Repeaters

Median price: $230,000                      Median price: $242,000

72% live with spouse/partner              73% live with spouse

56% have child under 18                    35% have child under 18

43% live in suburbs                            52% live in suburbs

40% live in urban areas                      22% live in urban areas

17% live in rural areas                        25% live in rural areas

12% will live in townhouse                  7% will live in townhouse

56% rent while looking                       29% rent while looking

As Zillow’s results indicate, first timers and repeaters are basically looking for and competing for the same house. Are those houses starter houses? Not so much.

25% of first timers are willing to consider distressed or foreclosed homes whereas 21% of repeaters are. 19% of first timers are willing to consider short sales whereas 14% of repeaters are. Clearly, the vast majority of first timers and repeaters prefer the home that is “mostly done,” save personal renovation and/or expansion projects.

Both first timers and repeaters dedicate the same amount of time in their respective home searches, house tours and open houses. (Those things are STILL important, agents!)

Lastly, 42% of first timers are more likely to make multiple offers on a home (there’s that determination again) whereas only 34% of repeaters will. Apparently, repeaters are more confident about there always being another house to love.

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