Share of First-Time Buyers Falls, Properties Still Moving Quickly

By Kelly Leighton | Sept. 20, 2021 | 2 min. read

Even with slightly more inventory on the market, the number of first-time buyers fell in July.

First-time buyers are still struggling with affordability in the market. According to NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, the number of first-time buyers dropped to 30%, down from 34% a year ago and 31% in June. First-time buyers are also more likely to not put down a 20% down payment, only 28% did in July. Despite a decrease in competition, homes are still seeing 4.5 offers on average, and properties are still moving quickly off of the market, they typically last 17 days, compared to 22 days a year ago. Homes are also receiving about four tours on average.

Not surprisingly, with competition still a factor, all-cash offers represented a higher percentage of sales, making up 23%. There’s also been an increase in buyers purchasing a property after only seeing it online. Ten percent of buyers bought their home after just attending a virtual showing, tour or open house, up from 7% a year ago.

Buyers are continuing to look to the suburbs instead of a metro area. One-third of agents said they have seen clients want to move to the suburbs from the city, and 86% 0f buyers purchased a home in a suburban, small town, rural or resort area. With more companies allowing workers to be either fully or partly remote, more than half of agents reported that buyers are looking for work-from-home areas, whether it’s an office, den or the like.

In Pennsylvania, agents expect both buyer and seller traffic to remain moderately strong.

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