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This is what the typical first-time homebuyer looks like

Harvard study paints picture of the average buyer

There were 3.1 million first-time homebuyers in 2016 and early 2017, according to a recent study on the state of the nation’s housing market by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

And, these buyers tend to be younger, more diverse and more likely to have children. They are also more likely to purchase smaller homes and spend less money on housing.

While a review of these buyers shows that they vary widely in age, household composition and other traits that define their housing needs and preferences, we’ve taken the most common characteristics of buyers in 2017 to create a profile of the average first-time homebuyer.

Here’s a basic profile:

Age: under 35

Ethnicity: white

Marital status: married

Children: yes

Type of property selected: detached, single-family home

Square-footage of property selected: less than 1,500

Average home price: less than $200,000

Harvard’s study also shed light on the housing shortage that is plaguing the market, driving up house prices and rents.

For first-time homebuyers, this means they may have less to choose from, and they may end up paying more for what they get.

“If current housing supply trends persist, house prices and rents will continue to rise at a healthy clip, further limiting the housing options for many,” the report stated. “While demographic trends should 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.”

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