Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Sales to First Time Buyers: 28 Percent of Sales

Approximately 28 percent of REALTOR® respondents reported that their last transaction in June was by a first time home buyer (27 percent in May) [1], according to the June 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index.

Tight underwriting standards are especially challenging for first-time buyers, who generally need mortgage financing with low down payment terms, may be paying off student debt, and may have credit scores that are not top-notch. REALTORS® have also reported that the increase in FHA mortgage insurance costs is discouraging buyers or making loans unaffordable. Inability to pay for closing costs was also reported to be adversely affecting sales.

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[1] First time buyers account for about 40 percent of all homebuyers based on data from NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. NAR’s survey of buyers and sellers in general does not capture investor purchases but does cover both existing and new home sales. In contrast, NAR’s Realtor Confidence Index Survey, which surveys REALTORS®, captures purchases for investment purposes.

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