- New buyers purchased 985,000 homes in the first six months of 2018, the highest such activity since 2005.
- First-time homebuyers accounted for 2.1 million home sales in 2017, higher than the historical annual average of 1.8 million.
- Given rising mortgage rates, first-time buyers who entered the market in June 2018 paid 67 percent more for a home than they would have five-and-a-half years ago.
Though first-time homebuyers face multiple challenges in today’s housing market — including rising interest rates, strong appreciation, and critically low inventory levels — that group was busier than it has been in 13 years in the first half of this year.
First-time homebuyer activity is now slightly above its historical average of 35 percent but quite a bit shy of the 46 percent peak recorded in the mid-1990s. In 2017, new buyers scooped up 2.1 million homes, breaking out of the cyclical depression to move above the historical annual average of 1.8 million. That buyer pool is getting a boost from the nation’s thriving economy.
A shortage of homes for sale — particularly those priced at the lower end of the market between $150,000 and $300,000 — continues to prevent more first-time buyers from getting in the game. The nation’s inventory crunch helped push up home prices by 6.5 percent in the second quarter on an annual basis, putting a dent in affordability for potential new buyers. Read more on the @bethanywpatten
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