Apr 8, 2024 - News

Most mortgage offers go to first-time homebuyers in California

Share of mortgage offers made to first-time homebuyers in 2023
Data: LendingTree; Note: Mortgage offer refers to any type of mortgage offered to a LendingTree marketplace user by a LendingTree lender; Map: Axios Visuals

First-time homebuyers received 73% of mortgage offers in California in 2023 — among the highest in the country, per a recent LendingTree report.

Why it matters: It's one more sign current homeowners are still feeling the golden handcuffs effect of not wanting to give up existing low-rate mortgages.

By the numbers: Nationwide, 65% of mortgage offers went to first-time homebuyers in 2023, per the report.

Between the lines: However, fewer people overall were taking out mortgages in 2023.

  • "First-time buyers simply appear to make up a larger portion of a relatively small pool of buyers," senior economist Jacob Channel says.

Zoom out: The largest share of offers went to first-time buyers in high-cost areas, including New York, California and New Jersey, where current homeowners are especially reluctant to give up their mortgage rates, per the report.

The big picture: This is the least-affordable housing market for first-time buyers in more than four decades, Axios' Emily Peck reports.

  • The monthly cost of a typical mortgage rose to 40% of a buyer's household income last year, the highest rate since the 1980s, per Capital Economics.
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