Rise in first-time buyers
The latest consumer survey of homebuyers and sellers shows first-time buyers have risen in market share and plan to own their homes longer than buyers in the past. The 2008 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is the latest in a series of large national NAR surveys evaluating demographics, marketing, preferences and experiences of homebuyers and sellers.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a higher share of first-time buyers makes perfect sense, and it’s a trend he expects to grow. “First-time buyers are much more flexible in entering the market because they aren’t concerned about selling an existing home,” he said. “Given low home prices, plentiful supply and affordable interest rates, it’s been an optimal time for entry-level buyers with a long-term view.
“Considering the temporary first-time buyer tax credit and improvements to the FHA loan program, we expect stronger entry-level activity as the flow of credit improves-that, in turn, should free more existing owners to make a trade in 2009.”
The number of first-time buyers rose to 41 percent from 39 percent of transactions in last year’s survey and 36 percent in 2006. “Although modest, this is a meaningful gain for the 12-month period ending at the close of June, and more recent independent data show a stronger uptrend in first-time buyers who are helping to reduce excess inventory,” Yun said.*