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Sales To First-Time Homebuyers Rise

First-time homebuyers are making up a larger share of the buying market due to low home prices, abundant supply and affordable interest rates, according to new research by NAR. The 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers finds that the number of first-time home buyers rose to 41 percent this year, up from 39 percent in 2007, and 36 percent in 2006.

“Although modest, this is a meaningful gain for the 12-month period ending at the close of June, and more recent independent data show a stronger uptrend in first-time buyers who are helping to reduce excess inventory,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The study shows the median age of first-time buyers was 30, down from 31 in 2007, and the median income was $60,600. The typical first-time home buyer purchased a home for $165,000 and plans to stay in it for 10 years, up from seven years in 2007.

The median age of home sellers was 47, and the median income was $91,000. Three-fourths were married couples who had lived in their homes for six years and were moving a median distance of 19 miles. Their home was on the market an average of eight weeks.

Eighty-one percent of home buyers and sellers used a real estate agent. Nine out of 10 would definitely or probably reuse their agent or recommend them to others. These results are consistent with 2007 findings.

In Boston, we saw more first time home buyers this year; most of the young home buyers focused on the Boston Lofts market.

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