How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse?

  • Using data from NAR’s 2006-2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, we can examine how the demographics of first-time homebuyers have changed over the last 9 years. What do these numbers show us about the diversity of buyers, and what insight can they provide for the future?
  • The demographic characteristics of first-time buyers overall has remained consistent over the last 9 years with slight increases and decreases.

Household Composition of First-Time Buyers:

  • Since 2006 the distribution of first-time buyers’ household composition has remained predominantly married couples, making up an average of 52% of first-time buyers.
  • On average 22% of first-time buyers were single females and 12% were single males or unmarried couples.

Household ChartHousehold Graph


Median Age of First-Time Buyers:

  • The median age of first-time buyers has remained within a 3 year age gap between 30-32 years old.
  • The average median age of first-time buyers since 2006 was 31 years old.

Med Age Chart

Med Age graph



Racial and Ethnic Distribution of First-Time Buyers:

  • The racial and ethnic distribution of first-time buyers has remained predominately White/Caucasian, making up an average of 77% of first-time buyers since 2006.
  • The averages of other races and ethnicities are:
    • Black/African American: 8%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 8%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 7%
    • Other: 3%

Race ChartRace Graph


Country of Birth of First-Time Buyers:

  • Since 2006 the number of first-time buyers who were born in the U.S. has increased and then decreased settling back to 86% in 2014, the same as in 2006.
  • On average 87% of first-time buyers were born in the U.S. and 13% were born outside of the U.S.

COB Chart

COB Graph


Primary Language Spoken by First-Time Buyers:

  • Over the last 9 years, English has remained the primary language of first-time buyers.
  • On average 7% of first-time buyers spoke other languages, while 93% spoke primarily English.

PL ChartPL Graph


The Future of First-Time Buyers:

  • While the demographics of first-time buyers over the last 9 years have not necessarily seen great changes, there is still the outlook for the future.
  • William Frey, of the Brookings Institution, recently published the book “Diversity Explosion” which looks at the demographic future of America.
  • Frey expounds that America is becoming a country with no racial majority, with a dramatic growth of young minority populations expected.
  • Frey predicts that sometime after 2040 there will be no racial majority; this would ultimately change the demographics of the first-time homebuyers moving towards greater diversity. 

Population Projection


For more information on this research, check out the:

2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and William Frey’s book Diversity Explosion





  1. Future home owners are clearly defined.

  2. If you would include in your charts the percentage of serious buyers who use the internet rather than “paper ads” to purchase that would be very helpful. I have read several places that 95% of buyers use the internet for information on real estate and purchasing. Thank you very much Carolyn

  3. Claudia Goertz

    What or Who exactly are “whites”? It seems to me that it is a vanishing distinction and that by the year 2050, it will likely be meaningless. And, that is not a bad thing.

  4. Jurie Lewis

    Great analysis and commentary! Thank you!! I wish I could get such stats for Portland Oregon 97201.

  5. Thanks for the information it is very useful and important !

  6. Thank you,
    Very interesting statistics.

  7. This is great information .. thanks for sharing it

    I’ve been in the real estate business for over 45 years, so I’ve been through (and lived through) a multitude of changes.

  8. Very interesting article – especially that things have remained so consistent over the past 9 years, and then, boom, your last section about the future. What are the implications of that evolution, if anything?

  9. Thank you. Great information.

  10. Marilyn Urso

    What is the demographic of the groups that were polled for these charts? Where were they from? Is it an equal sampling from around the US? or predominant in any particular section of the country?
    I think these numbers are not representative of my local market especially in the country of birth and primary language spoken.

  11. All os these 11 charts do not show any dramatic changes except if you look the distance future of 2050. I t would not make any difference in thinking of buyers or sellers. There would be some major differences in local neighborhoods. This tells that real estate is local phenomenon.

  12. Very Interesting. The future will have many mixed marriages and this is why the percentages will change.

  13. These are good demographics of first-time home buyers’ stats, which are telling much about averages. However, taking it to the next step and tie it up with additional stats is necessary for federal and state policy makers. For example, understanding these stats as it relates to the local labor market, income, etc…is a valuable data to justify and support economic development.

  14. Overall this is great information. However, the graph of “Median Age of First-Time Buyers” is very misleading. At first glance the graph makes the age look much lower in years 2008 – 2010. This is because the graph has been shortened to only show ages 29 to 32 while all of the other graphs start at zero. This makes the bars for age 30 look 1/2 the size of age 31. The reality is the age in 2008 to 2010 may be 30 years and 5 months and the age for 2011 – 2014 may be 30 years and 7 months, with the posted numbers being rounded up and down. While the actual difference in age is miniscul the graph makes it look huge.

  15. Anthony Nicastro

    I would be interested in knowing price range (in $50,000 increments) of properties acquired by first time buyers. Thank you for this information. Interesting.

  16. Eric D. Lenz

    The market changes started in fall of 2005. It would be more meaningful to go back a few more years to get a “before” comparison to see if, indeed, there have been changes.

  17. Pamela Brocato

    I am a home stager (ASP). Please tell me more. I live in South East Tx. (Near Beaumont). I have had a hard time conveniencing realtors the value of what I am doing. Why are they SO RELUCTANT to see the light!