First-time homebuyers remain skittish

First-time homebuyers comprised 31 percent of closed sales in August, according to the REALTORS Confidence Index Survey. While the share of first-time buyers has seen gradual improvement since the lows of less than 30 percent in 2013, many potential buyers still are on the sidelines, according to the National Association of REALTORS’ report. 

The homeownership rate in the second quarter for those under the age of 35 only increased slightly to 35.3 percent (from 34.3 percent in the first quarter). The homeownership rate for the 35- to 44-year-old age group posted a slight decrease to 58.8 percent from 59 percent in the first quarter. 

The environment may be good for first-time buyers, particularly since employment has been growing and interest rates are at historic lows. However, young adults face many setbacks into homeownership, such as difficulties in obtaining credit, high price growth compared to income growth, and student debt.

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