The economy is hanging in there and job growth remains solid, so markets are seeing an uptick in first-time buyers. They comprised 34 percent of sales in April, up from 32 percent in March and 29 percent a year ago. Inventories remain low, though, so buyers are competing for a relatively small number of properties. As a result, days on market has plunged to an all-time low, a median of just 29 days, down from 39 days a year ago.
The share of home buyers coming from the ranks of renters has steadily increased over the last three years, while the percentage of move-up buyers continues to slip.