Just when everyone was beginning to talk about the potential for a slowdown in the housing market, home sales have gone up again, and this time it looks like it’s first-time buyers that are making a big difference.
Home sales had slumped a bit for a couple months but things turned around last month with an increase to the highest pace again since back at the end of the hot spring market - a time when a lot of the talk in Real Estate was about the fierce competition for limited listed homes. The big news now though, is not just that sales have rebounded, but that First-time Buyers made up over a third of all sales, the highest level in more than four years!
The return of first-time buyers is great news because there’s been a lot of concern about the lack of activity from this vital group. We’ve touched before on some of the difficulties they face in entering the market. Loan requirements can be tougher, prices are up, many are carrying a lot of student debt, and then to top it all off there just haven’t been enough available homes for sale. So to see them make up 34% of the sales in September is a good sign, especially at a time of year when sales are usually a little slower.
It seems that the slowdown in July and August could now be explained by the lack of inventory we keep talking about. Buyers took a little longer to find the right property amidst all the competition, but as a lot of families and existing homeowners bought properties and looked to move before the start of the school year, things opened up a bit in September for more first-time buyers to come into the market. Fall is usually a time when we see some of the best prices of the year also, which may be helping new homeowners to jump in.
Overall, employment and wages have continued to rise, and the desire for home ownership is as high as ever. We know there’s a large untapped group of potential first time home buyers out there, and they’re going to play a big role going forward. Are they back in that role full time yet? We’ll wait to see how the numbers look after the slower holiday season as we begin the new year. We’ll also want to see a significant bump in available inventory, as the home builders continue the increased building we’ve seen starting. We should have a pretty good idea as we move into 2017 of whether this group has been able to make a comeback for good.
Are you an aspiring first-time homeowner? Well, fall is a great time to buy! Talk to us to get your search started today! Already a homeowner and curious about what the recent bump in sales can do for your home’s value? Ask us! Contact us anytime for all your Real Estate needs.