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With mortgage rates and home prices as high as they’ve been, many would-be buyers stayed out of the housing market in 2023. But the latest LendingTree data shows that of those who remained active in the market, first-timers were much more common than those who already owned a home.

Through a nationwide analysis of mortgage offers given to users of the LendingTree platform in 2023, we found that nearly 2 out of 3 went to first-time buyers. Here's what else we found. 

  •  Nationwide, 65.25% of mortgage offers made on the LendingTree platform in 2023 went to those who identified as first-time homebuyers. 
  • The states where the highest shares of mortgage offers are given to first-time buyers are New York, California and New Jersey. 77.30% of offers in New York went to first-time buyers. The shares were 73.15% and 72.22% in California and New Jersey. 
  • The states where the lowest shares of mortgage offers are given to first-time buyers are South Dakota, Alaska and Arkansas. In South Dakota, 54.29% of mortgage offers went to first-timers. That figure was only slightly higher in Alaska, at 54.38%. It was 56.19% in Arkansas.
  • On average, loan amounts for first-time buyers across the 50 states are $49,021 smaller than those of repeat buyers. Credit scores are about 32 points lower while down payments are an average of $42,218 lower.

You can check out our full report here: https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/first-time-homebuyers-study/

LendingTree's Senior Economist and report author, Jacob Channel, had this to say:

"Even in the face of relatively high rates and steep home prices, first-timers on LendingTree’s platform still received a relatively large share of offers in 2023. While this goes to show that first-timers are still buying, it’s important to note that it doesn’t mean that the housing market was totally overrun by newbies. On the contrary, 2023’s housing market wasn’t very active compared to previous years. This means that first-time buyers weren’t necessarily flooding the market, so much as they just happened to make up a bigger portion of a smaller overall pool of would-be mortgage borrowers."

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