Who Are Virginia’s Young Homebuyers?
May 20, 2019
By: Guest Author, Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist, Lisa Sturtevant, PhD
Young adults make up an important and growing share of the home-buying market in Virginia. In recent years, a little more than a third of all home purchases in the state were made by people under the age of 35.
Using data from the American Community Survey, I took a look at the characteristics of young (under 35) recent homebuyers and compared them to older recent homebuyers. “Recent homebuyers” were defined as those who had purchase a home in the prior two years. Some key statistics from this analysis are as follows:
- About 34% of young adults in Virginia under age 35 are homeowners, and 11% are recent homebuyers, having purchased a home within the past 2 years.
- Some of the highest rates of homeownership among young adults are in the outer Northern Virginia suburbs. For example, about 63% of young adult living in eastern Loudoun County are homeowners. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of young adults in the Gainesville area of Prince William County are homeowners. Western Chesterfield County and the City of Chesapeake are other places where the young adult homeownership rate is above 60%. The lowest rates of homeownership among young adults were in Arlington County and the City of Richmond (about 16%).
- Sixty-eight percent of recent young homebuyers purchased a single-family detached home and 21% purchased a townhome or duplex. Only 8% of recent young homebuyers purchased a unit in a multifamily condominium building. Older (age 35+) recent homebuyers are somewhat more likely to have purchased a single-family detached home (73%), and slightly less likely to have purchased a townhome/duplex (16%) or condo (7%).
- About 17% of recent homebuyers—including both younger and older homebuyers—purchased smaller homes with two or fewer bedrooms. A third (33%) of young recent homebuyers bought homes with 4+ bedrooms, compared with 41% of older recent homebuyers.
- The median household income of a young recent buyer is $85,000. By comparison, the median household income of young (under 35) renters is $45,600. The median household income of all homeowners in Virginia (i.e. both recent and longer-term homeowners) is $83,000 and the median household income of all renters in Virginia is $43,300.
- According to the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median total monthly payment for recent young homebuyers is $1,568, compared to $1,627 for older homebuyers. (Total monthly payment generally includes first and second mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance.)
Later this summer, we will have more detailed data on young and first-time homebuyers from the National Association of REALTORS® survey of Virginia homebuyers and sellers. Stay tuned!
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