NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With so many young Americans out or work, or at least underemployed, the thinking among economists was that fewer consumers would be buying so-called starter homes. On the surface, that makes sense. Unemployment among U.S. 18- to 29-year-olds is at 16.1%, according to Generation Opportunity, a youth advocacy group in Washington, D.C. Fewer would look for starter homes, simply because they can't afford them. But the reality is different, according to a study from J.D. Power. first-timers, compared with 40% last year. In addition, first-time home sellers -- made up largely of Americans under 40 -- are 44% of home sales this year, compared with 30% last year. The J.D Power study seems to indicate that younger home consumers are like all home consumers. With home prices down, and mortgage rates still highly reasonable, 20- and 30-somethings jumped at the chance to buy their first home, even if they really had to stretch their budgets to pull the deal off. The J.D. Power report also shows that homebuyers of all ages believe in recognizable brands when choosing a real estate company to partner with on their new-home hunt. About 35% of all homebuyers say that "reputation" is at the top of the list of priorities when choosing an agent, and believe that it's best to choose a real estate company based on its "good name."