Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released its last profile on first time homebuyers for 2016 and early 2017.

Overall, the 3.1M first time homebuyers were younger, more diverse and more likely to have children. They also were more likely to buy smaller homes and spend less on housing.

The basic profile of first time buyers looked something like this, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies:

  • Age – under 35
  • Ethnicity – white
  • Marital status – married
  • Parents – number of children was not designated
  • Housing type – detached single-family house
  • Size of house – less than 1,500 square feet
  • Average price – under $200,000

The shortage of housing, both resale and newly constructed, gave first-time homebuyers fewer choices. The Joint Center on Housing Studies report also stated that it was likely the housing shortage was the primary cause of driving up prices and the primary reason first time buyers ended up “paying more for what they got.”

The report concluded by saying, “If current housing supply trends persist, house prices and rents will continue to rise at a healthy clip, further limiting housing options for many. While demographic trends may support a vibrant housing market over the coming decade, realizing this potential depends heavily on whether the market can provide a broader and more affordable range of housing options for tomorrow’s households.”