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NAR study: Record number of first-time homebuyers last year

Posted by: VHFA on November 17, 2009 - 9:28am

A recent study by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) shows first-time homebuyers reached their highest market share on record during the past year.

The number of first-time buyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales, up from 41 percent in the previous year's study.

“These buyers are critical to housing and a general economic recovery, because the market always heals from the bottom up," according to Paul Bishop, NAR Vice-President of Research.

"(First-time buyers) absorb inventory, free existing owners to make a trade, and stimulate related goods and services," he added.

The most recent figure is the highest on record dating back to 1981. The previous high was 44 percent in 1991.

“It’s interesting to note the last cyclical peak of first-time home buyers was during the last noteworthy economic downturn, with first-time buyers starting the chain reaction that led the nation out of recession,” Bishop said.

The study shows the median age of first-time buyers was 30 and median income was $61,600.

The typical first-time buyer purchased a home costing $156,000, down from $165,000 in the 2008 study, and plans to stay in that home for 10 years.

The study was released in San Diego, Calif., last Friday at the 2009 REALTORS Conference & Expo.

Many more details are in the NAR's press release.

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