Repeat Home Buyers Driving Sales Gains

The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is a survey that measures the preferences, motivations, and demographics of recent buyers and sellers. According to the results, the increased number of home sales this year has largely been driven by repeat buyers who used the sale of their current home to come up with a down payment on a new house. In fact, 53 percent of repeat buyers used the money they made selling their home as the main source of their down payment. That represents a 6 percent increase over last year and a 13 percent increase from 2012. It also explains a lot about the demographic breakdown of recent home buyers. For example, there has been a smaller share of first-time home buyers active in the market over the past few years. Historically, first timers account for about 40 percent of home sales. This year, they made up just 32 percent. With improved employment conditions and a strengthening housing market, there was an expectation that they would be more active this year. But, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, debt is the reason young Americans aren’t buying. “First-time buyers reported that debt (all forms) delayed saving for a down payment for a median of three years, and among the 25 percent who said saving was the most difficult task, a majority (58 percent) said student loans delayed saving,” Yun said. More here.

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