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First-Time Home Buyers Look Different Than They Once Did

New home-buyers are a little older and a lot more likely to be single than they were 20 years ago.
September 16, 2019, 1pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Konrad Summers

The kinds of Americans buying homes for the first time has changed a lot since 1997. According to a new study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, new homeowners are more likely to be single and Asian. Today almost 50% of new home-buyers are single in 1997, that number was less than 40%.

"New homeowners aren’t much older than before—the median age in 2017 was 34, compared to 32 in 1997—but they are more diverse, which is in line with demographic shifts since the 1990s," Linda Poon reports for CityLab. The study also found the share of homes bought buy Asian singles or couples is growing while the share for African Americans is shrinking. "[African Americans] made up just 9 percent of first-time homebuyers in 2017, compared to 14 percent in 1997," Poon writes.

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Published on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in CityLab
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