A sur­pris­ingly high num­ber of first-timers now buy­ing homes

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

For years, the U.S. hous­ing mar­ket looked bleak for young cou­ples hop­ing to buy their first homes but strug­gling with high stu­dent debt, low pay and mea­ger down-pay­ment sav­ings.

But a new sur­vey by the real es­tate firm Zil­low sug­gests that first­time buy­ers may be en­ter­ing the mar­ket in greater num­bers than in­dus­try watch­ers had as­sumed.

Over the past year, the sur­vey found, nearly half of home sales have gone to first-timers. That’s a much higher pro­por­tion than some other in­dus­try es­ti­mates had in­di­cated. And it comes as a sur­prise in part be­cause own­er­ship rates for adults un­der 34 are at their low­est lev­els since the gov­ern­ment be­gan track­ing the fig­ure in 1994. Zil­low’s sur­vey re­sults sug­gest that the trend is shift­ing, and that some of this year’s growth in home sales has come from a wave of col­lege-ed­u­cated cou­ples in their 30s, who are the most com­mon first-time buy­ers.

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