Here is some insight on how Americans can invest their tax return and how first-time home buyers may look to invest long term. One of the major hurdles for potential home buyers is the downpayment. With a sizable tax refund, the average American would have a sizeable or partial downpayment depending on which region or market you live in. The estimated average tax refund is expected to be $2,840 for most Americans this year, which is slightly down from $2,895 last year. Some of the main recommendations on what to do if you receive a tax return are save, invest, splurge, pay down debt, donate or fund a business idea. The younger generation is working to overcome debt, lack of savings and rising home prices.
Let us look at the data from NAR’s 2017 Home Buyer and Sellers:
- For first-time buyers, the median downpayment ticked down to 5% in 2017 from 6% in 2016.
- First-time home buyers made up 22% of all buyers.
- For first-time home buyers, 13 percent cited their most difficult step in the home buying process was saving for a downpayment.
- For first-time home buyers, 25% said saving for a downpayment was the most difficult step in the process. It took 32% of first-time home buyers more than two years to save up for a downpayment however, 29% were able to come up with a downpayment within six months or less and that is where the tax refund can help.
- For first-time home buyers, 78% used their savings to make a down payment while 25% used a gift from a relative or friend. The third most used source of a downpayment was sale of stocks, a loan from a relative or their tax return at 7 percent. All buyers made up 4 percent and repeat buyers made up 2 percent who used their tax return.
With improved job markets and rising wages, first-time buyers could apply the tax refund of approximately of $2,840 to boost their downpayment when entering a housing market, which has experienced very tight inventories and rising prices. By state, Connecticut on average is expected to have the highest tax return at $3,126 while Vermont may have the lowest return at $2,254. Below you can find your state to estimate your return.
Charts from savingtoinvest.com.