Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

First time home buyers accounted for 32 percent of total buyers in the latest Realtors® Confidence Index, slightly lower than the May figure of 34 percent.  Normally first time buyers are in the neighborhood of 40 percent of total residential sales, according to NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers[1]. The proportion of first-time homebuyers hit a peak of approximately 50 percent in 2009. The relatively low level of first time buyers in part reflects the difficulty of securing mortgage financing and/or the delay with distressed sales. Realtors® have also noted that investors offering all-cash sales to sellers have crowded out first-time buyers in some cases, particularly in the case of distressed properties.  Unsuccessful first-time buyers typically continue their property search, sometimes making a number of bids before securing a property.


[1]              In the 2011 survey, first-time homebuyers accounted for 37 percent of all buyers.

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