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Even though the number of first-time homebuyers reached its lowest level in 30 years, real estate professionals continue to be optimistic about the comeback of homeownership.
In the recent 2014 Realtors Conference and Expo held last November 7 to 10, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, a panel of real estate experts talked about the different faces of American homebuyers and their possible effects to the housing market.
“Among primary residence homebuyers, the demographics have shifted dramatically, especially among first-time homebuyers, whose share of the market has dropped to its lowest level in decades,” panelist and director of member and consumer survey research for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Jessica Lautz said, “We have also seen an increase in the median age and income of the average buyer, as well as in multigenerational household formations as adult children and elderly family members move back in with their families.”
One major discussion during the expo was the current condition of millennial homeownership. Young adults are being held back from ownership because of the inventory shortage, the strict credit rules, and the lower than average incomes but the real estate speakers believe that all these are just temporary as the economy fights its way to stability.
“It’s not that young people don’t want to purchase homes, it’s that they are delaying the purchase,” VP of research for the National Housing Conference Lisa Sturtevant said. “Many of the reasons millennials are not forming households or making purchases are economic, so as the economy improves, we should see this group become more of a force in the housing market.”
Chief Economist for Realtor.com Jonathan Smoke agreed to Sturtevant’s statement saying that 37 percent of the homebuyers last summer were the millennials and that they’re expected to account for about two-thirds of homeownership in the succeeding years. Furthermore, he also shared that more than half of the adults between the age of 21 to 34 visited real estate websites and used real-estate related mobile applications from June to September 2014.