First-Time Home Buyers Display Growing Interest in Purchases

Laura Kusisto reported on Friday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Prospective first-time home buyers are showing more interest in making purchases, despite rising prices and growing anxiety over affordability.

Google searches related to buying a first home jumped 11 percentage points to 44% of all home buying-related search activity in 2017 compared with a year earlier, according to a study of Google search data conducted by Chase Home Lending.

“In all, first-time buyers accounted for 33% of all home sales in May, up from 30% a year earlier, according to the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors.”

The Journal article noted that, “First-time buyers are critical to the market because they bring new demand, allowing homeowners to trade up and stimulating demand for builders to construct new homes.

“Demand from millennials has been soft because of stagnant wage growth, student loans debt and wariness about the benefits of homeownership.

But so far this year, new purchasers accounted for 42% of all buying this year through April, up from 40% in 2016 and 31% during the lowest point during the recent housing cycle in 2011, according to the most recent data from Fannie Mae, which defines first-time buyers as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years.”

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