More first-time buyers are purchasing homes, reports MarketWatch real estate reporter Daniel Goldstein, as the share of first-time home buyers in the last month of 2015 topped 32%, up from 30% a month earlier and 29% in December of 2014.
“Much of this year’s growth has indeed been powered by first-time buyers and particularly Millennial first-time buyers,” said Realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke, in an email to MarketWatch. Smoke said that about 35% of all mortgages purchased in 2015 were by 25 to 34 year olds, according to an analysis by Realtor.com and OptimalBlue.
Lower mortgage rates were one reason thought to cause the increase, but not the only one. “Strong job growth in recent years and young renters’ overwhelming interest to own a home should lead to a modest uptick in first-time buyer activity in 2016,” said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.