First-Time Home Buyers: This Spring's 'Wild Card'?

April 3, 2013

First-time home buyers represented the fastest growing segment of home purchasers for January and February, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. 

Meanwhile, current home owners looking to move up posted the largest drop in market share in the month, dropping to the lowest market share recorded of current home owners since last June. 

Current home owners make up 42.5 percent of the market share, while first-time home buyers share climbed to 34.5 percent of home purchase transactions in February, based on a three-month moving average. First-time home buyers posted its second monthly increase, after reaching a four-year survey low of 32.9 percent in December. 

The survey showed that first-time home buyer traffic reached a four-year high in February. 

“First-time home buyers are the wildcard in the upcoming spring-summer home buying season,” says Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. “We see strong first-time homebuyer traffic, but it’s still not clear that the traffic will translate into increased purchases, because first-time home buyers are dependent on low-down-payment financing, such as FHA mortgages, and announced FHA program changes will take effect this spring.”

Current home owners are expected to increase their home purchases this spring, with the survey measuring a big jump in home buyer traffic among this group of buyers too. 

Also, investors’ share of home purchases climbed to a four-month high in February, accounting for 34.5 percent of transactions. 

Source: Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey

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