Opendoor: A portrait of first-time homebuyers in 2023

by Emily Marek

Many buyers entered the housing market for the first time in 2023. But who were these first-timers, and what did their homebuying experience look like?

Opendoor recently released the third edition of its First-Time Homebuyer Report, which outlines demographics, trends and driving factors among people who purchased their first home in 2023.

Forty-four percent of first-time buyers entered the housing market because of their desire to find stability and peace of mind from owning a home rather than renting. Meanwhile, 43% did so for more space, while 41% saw the purchase as an investment opportunity, and 21% did so because they were starting a family.

Finances were a major factor in first-time home purchases last year. Fifty-three percent of buyers delayed buying a home because of financial constraints, including 32% who were waiting for interest rates to fall. Other reasons for putting off home purchases included relationships — nearly one in four buyers held off because of family reasons, while 18% waited because of their romantic relationship status.

Financial constraints also led many first-time buyers to adjust their expectations when it came to their homes. Thirty-two percent didn’t buy in the area they originally wanted to, while 28% didn’t get all the features they were hoping for, and 22% bought a smaller home than they had originally planned on. Of buyers who made compromises, 39% did so because buying a home was more important than finding a place that checked every box on their list, while 35% couldn’t find a home with everything they wanted, and 30% couldn’t afford a home with everything they wanted.

Another notable find from the study was that despite a 35% increase in solo first-time buyers, the trend of “co-buying,” or buying a home with a friend, significant other, coworker or family member, was on the rise last year. More than one in 10 first-time buyers participated in co-buying in 2023, the vast majority of them being men, at 62%.

Co-buying with a platonic partner isn’t all sunshine and roses, though: nearly half of all co-buyers who purchased with friends said they argued about which home to buy during the purchase process.

Most co-buyers purchased a home with a spouse or partner, with 61% of all first-time buyers last year embarking on homeownership with their significant other. Solo buyers made up the next highest percentage of first-timers at 23%, followed by those who purchased with parents at 16%, those who purchased with friends at 11% and those who purchased with siblings at 7%.

Many first-timers felt pressure to purchase their home — 90% of respondents reported feeling pressure to move quickly so they wouldn’t miss an opportunity. Over 40% said that pressure was self-imposed, although nearly a quarter reported feeling pressure from their agent or from their co-buyer.

Buyer’s remorse remained a factor in 2023. Nearly one-third of first-time buyers held on to the belief that they could have found a better home if they’d just kept looking. Despite that, the average buyer viewed over 23 homes, either virtually or in-person. Gen Z buyers viewed the most properties at 32, followed by Millennials at 22 and Gen X at 20.

However, 75% of first-time buyers said they ultimately celebrated when their transaction closed — although 27% were just relieved the process was over.

Read More Related to This Post

Join the conversation

New Subscribe(3)

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.