First-time home buyers at near 30 year low

According to a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, the share of first–time buyers declined for the third consecutive year and remained at its lowest point in nearly three decades,

The share of first-time buyers declined to 32% from 33% a year ago and remains well below the historical average of 40%.

According to the NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun: : “there are several reasons why there should be more first–time buyers reaching the market, including persistently low mortgage rates, healthy job prospects for those college–educated, and the fact that renting is becoming more unaffordable in many areas.”

Mr. Yun continues: “Unfortunately, there are just as many high hurdles slowing first–time buyers down. Increasing rents and home prices are impeding their ability to save for a down payment, there’s scarce inventory for new and existing–homes in their price range, and it’s still too difficult for some to get a mortgage.”

“First–time buyers reported that debt (all forms) delayed saving for a down payment for a median of three years, and among the 25 percent who said saving was the most difficult task, a majority (58 percent) said student loans delayed saving,” he said. “With a median amount of student loan debt for all buyers at $25,000, it’s likely some younger households with even higher levels of debt can’t save for an adequate down payment or have decided to delay buying until their debt is at more comfortable levels.” (more…)