First-Time Homebuyers: Will there be Enough?

It’s no secret that the housing market has been slow to recover, but there has been one group of homeowners that continue to strengthen the market little by little: first-time homebuyers. If you were a first time-buyer within the last couple of years or are looking to make your first purchase, you know the type of market that’s out there. Low interest rates and low housing prices make investing in a home an excellent choice.

What many people don’t know is that being a first-time homebuyer is challenging because there is very little inventory as more people are holding onto their properties and riding out the market. And, loans aren’t as easy to get as they once were, and incentives are dwindling down. For instance, starting June 1, 2013, anyone who takes out an FHA loan and doesn’t have at least 10 percent down will pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.

As home prices go up, interest rates go up and housing inventory stays low, first-time homebuyers – the key to a healthy residential real estate market – are still taking it slow. It’s hard to jump on something just because the price is right when the home or the location is not. Perhaps this is why first time buyers make up only 29 percent of recent buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Generally, these first time buyers make up about 40 percent of the market.

There are other factors that are making it hard for young adults to enter the housing market. Some are unemployed or underemployed and others don’t have a sufficient down payment. Others have poor credit or are burdened with student loans, with not enough money to handle a mortgage payment. These factors affect the young most of all, and it has some worried that there may not be enough first time buyers to sustain the market.

Only time will tell, as some believe that there are many buyers out there that are “on the fence,” waiting out the market to see what happens. If a young couple finds their dream home and has to pay a bit more in interest, it’s worth the wait.