While the needs and preferences of U.S. homebuyers evolved along with a changing economy from 2021 to 2022, market conditions continued to pose some familiar and some added challenges to house hunters after two years of rapid price growth and heated competition, according to Zillow’s 2022 Consumer Housing Trends Report (CHTR). Buyer demographics remained largely unchanged year-over-year, but new homebuying preferences emerged following a rise in virtual home tour technology during the pandemic.
Though an unfavorable buying landscape created hurdles to homeownership for a large number of prospective buyers, first-timers made a 2022 comeback, climbing to a total share of 45% of all buyers surveyed after falling to 37% in 2021, Zillow reports.
After falling to 37% of buyers surveyed in 2021, the share of first-time buyers appears to have rebounded – reaching 45%. In previous years, a competitive, low-inventory market likely contributed to the historic falling share of first-time buyers; however, recent increases in the cost of acquiring a mortgage, coupled with economic uncertainty, may explain would-be repeat buyers staying put.
When asked if they agreed with a series of statements about their desire for 3D and Virtual home tour technology, buyers tended to at least somewhat agree that such tools would be helpful.