Housing market sees increase in first time home buyers age

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 11:43 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - “More demand than supply,” that phrase has defined the housing market in recent years, but resources are coming to the Valley to help new home buyers navigate the current housing market.

The City of Harrisonburg has partnered with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission and a non-profit Sercap to bring these resources to Valley residents.

According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2022 the average age of first-time home buyers was 36 years old.

They say that is the highest age in the history of data collected.

“Throughout the state, it varies a lot and it’s really just based on where people are financially and in their sort of housing journey you know I work with clients on the younger side and they are mid to late 20s and all the way up until people that are retired,” Jacob Hodges, housing counselor, at Sercap said.

Hodges said at a recent home buyers workshop held in Feb, the average age of people in attendance in Harrisonburg, was late 30′s to early 40 year-olds, which matches the national data.

“Education, the knowledge, curriculum, tools, resources to help home buyers make educated decisions,” Hodges said.

One of the biggest factors that go into buying your first home is finances.

“Am I ready you know what is my credit score you know is it the one I pulled online you know where am I and how much of a house can I buy with this?” Liz Webb, housing coordinator in Harrisonburg said.

The Valley is still considered a seller’s market when it comes to home buying.

With sellers at the forefront, this can leave first-time home buyers with many unanswered questions.

“We don’t have a lot of counseling resources in this region ... it sort of is filling a gap in our community to have that homeownership counseling resource,” Olivia Raines with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission said.

The National Association of Realtors says the amount of time first-time home buyers will stay in that home has also increased.

The average is projected at an 18-year stay, that’s up eight years from 2021.

The next home buyer readiness workshop will be held Sat from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lucy Simms Center.

This is a general session but more specified sessions will be held in the coming weeks.

It’s a free session and open to anyone in the Shenandoah Valley.