First Time Boston Area Homebuyers Disappearing

First-time Boston area homebuyers now account for only one-third of all home purchases, the lowest share since 1987.

That’s according to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, which questioned a random sample of people who purchased homes between July 2013 and June 2014.

First time Boston area homebuyers seem to be vanishing according to the National Association of Realtors

Reasons First Time Boston Area Homebuyers Are Vanishing

Of the many reasons first time Boston area homebuyers seem to be disappearing, rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who’ve experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the work force. Adding even more trouble for would-be first time Boston area homebuyers, those finally in a position to buy have had to overcome low inventory levels in their price range, competition from investors, tight credit conditions and high mortgage insurance premiums.

Wages should go up as the job market continues to improve, but first time Boston area homebuyers report that getting a mortgage is a lot harder than they expected.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement recently, “Less stringent credit standards and mortgage insurance premiums commensurate with current buyer risk profiles are needed to boost first-time buyer participation, especially with interest rates likely rising in upcoming years.”

The median age of first time homebuyers nationwide was 31, and their median income was $68,300. Their typical purchase: a 1,570-square foot home costing $169,000, something that is increasingly more difficult to find in the Boston area real estate market.

The typical repeat buyer, by contrast, was 53, with an income of $95,000. Repeat buyers bought bigger and more expensive homes.

Home sellers, meanwhile, are getting older: 54 on average now vs. 46 back in 2009. The typical seller has been in his or her house for 10 years — a new high.

If the share of first time Boston area homebuyers continues to shrink, many homeowners who would like to move up to a more expensive house may find it harder to sell their current home.

Also of Interest  Boston Area Real Estate Myths

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