You are currently viewing Consumer Survey Reveals First Look into 2017 Home Buying Season Consumer Survey Reveals First Look into 2017 Home Buying Season

The 2017 home-buying season will be characterized by a large increase in first-time homebuyers, increasing affordability issues among buyers and high demand for suburban homes, according to’s new Active Home Shopper Report. The study—based on September survey data of active shoppers on—offers insight into future home buying trends in 2017 by analyzing responses from consumers who plan to purchase homes in the peak home-buying seasons of spring or summer 2017.

Here, some significant findings from the survey:

• First time homebuyers could make up more than half of the 2017 homebuyer population. According to the survey, first-time homebuyers now make up 52 percent of prospective buyers looking to purchase in 2017. In 2016, 33 percent of shoppers planning to purchase were first timers. Millennials are leading the pack, with 61 percent of these first-time homebuyers under age 35. Top reasons cited by millennials for buying include getting married or moving in with a partner, growing tired of their current living space and planning to increase family size.

• In 2016, 40 percent of home shoppers cited lack of inventory as the largest barrier to home ownership, but reports this will potentially shift to affordability and mortgage qualification issues as more first-time homebuyers enter the market. Of first-time homebuyers planning to purchase next spring, 37 percent indicated their largest impediment to home ownership is the down payment and 30 percent cited finding a house within their budget.

• First-time homebuyers cite safety, more living space and larger yards as the key features for their new homes. This is consistent with their top goals of buying: attaining privacy and addressing the needs of their families. A third top objective of first-time buyers is to make a financial investment that will grow over time. As millennials marry and move in with partners, reasons to purchase are driven by actual or planned growth in their families, and they show strong preference for single-family homes (39 percent) or town homes (34 percent) and away from multifamily homes (15 percent), condos (10 percent) or mobile homes (2 percent).

• First-time homebuyers identified the suburbs as their No. 1 preferred location. In fact, 50 percent of all respondents identified suburban areas as their preferred location. For boomers, their desire for the suburbs can likely be attributed to their desire to be close to family and friends. In addition, younger homebuyers are more likely than their older counterparts to prefer urban living, the second-most common location preference among millennials after suburbs.

• The majority of all survey respondents were beginning the housing search at the time of the survey and planned to purchase in seven months or longer, indicating spring and summer will continue as the top seasons to buy and sell homes. found that 73 percent of respondents had been considering homeownership for less than three months and did not expect to purchase a home immediately.