A Squeeze on First Homes

First-time home buyers, long a key underpinning of the housing market, are increasingly getting left behind in the real estate recovery.

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Such buyers, typically couples in their late 20s or early 30s, have accounted for about 30% of home sales over the past year.  They represented 40% of sales, on average, over the past 30 years, and accounted for more than 50% in 2009, when recession-era tax credits fueled the first-time market, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®.

The depressed level of first-time buyers could prove to be a drag on the housing rebound and the broader economic recovery over the longer haul.  First-time home buyers are the foundation of the real-estate market and are major contributors to their local economies, often buying up older homes, revitalizing communities and spending money on furniture and renovations.

Once they have built some equity, they often move to more expensive residences.

In June, first-time buyers accounted for 29% of purchases of existing homes, compared with 32% in June a year ago, according to the NAR’s existing-home sales report.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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