False Alarm. First-time Buyers are Not Declining

Written by: Steve Cook   Wed, September 11, 2013

Are the numbers of first-time buyers shrinking, victimized by cash-bearing investors, credit-tight lenders mounting mortgage interest rates and soaring home prices? Are they “increasingly getting left behind in the real-estate recovery” as the Journal reported n July?

Well, not exactly, argue two economists from the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Reports based on surveys of Realtors to the contrary, first timers are doing just well as ever, thank you very much. “We do not share the concern about weakness in housing demand going forward because we are not convinced that the data indicates a material decline in first-time buyer participation,” concluded researchers Jessica Dill and Ellyn Terry.

Examining date from the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey Public Use Microdata and the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey as well as other sources.

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