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…)

Massachusetts “best State in the country” to live

Yes that’s right, number 1, according to a report by 24/7WallStreet, a financial website, which ranked States using an index composed of three socioeconomic measures: poverty rate, the percentage of adults who have at least a bachelor’s degree, and life expectancy at birth.

This is what is has to say about Massachusetts:
“As in many of the other best states to live in, Massachusetts residents are quite wealthy. A typical household earns $69,160 each year, the sixth highest annual median household income in the nation. Similarly, the state’s poverty rate of 11.6% is one of the lowest in the nation. As in most states with low poverty rates and high incomes, the average Massachusetts resident will enjoy a relatively long life. The life expectancy at birth in Massachusetts is 80.5 years, versus the national life expectancy of 79 years. Massachusetts’ nation-leading college attainment rate of 41.2% — it is the only state where more than two in five adults have a bachelor’s degree — is a major driver of the state’s strong economy and high quality of life. Students in the state also score well above average on standardized tests. (more…)