First-time Buyers Have Not RSVP’d to the Recovery Party

On Thursday the National Association of Realtors said the share of first-time buyers is at the second lowest level in over 30 years. The 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reveals a home buying market driven by repeat buyers within two income households. Historically first time buyers constitute nearly 40 percent share of primary home purchases but according to NAR's survey this trend has declined for three consecutive years to 32 percent.

There are several reasons why there should be more of these buyers in the market. These reasons include low interest rates, healthy job prospects for college graduates, and the increasing costs to rent. However there are many obstacles slowing first-time buyers down. 

Increased rental amounts paired with current home prices are diminishing the ability to save for a down payment. This is coupled with low inventory for new and existing-homes in this buyer's price range. 

31 is the median age of a First-time buyer, which remains unchanged since 2013. This home buyers median income was $69,400, up $1,100 from 2014. The typical first-time buyer purchased a 1,620-square-foot home (1,570 in 2014) costing $170,000. With the median amount of student loan debt for all buyers at $25,000, it's likely some younger households with even higher levels of debt cannot afford to save for an adequate down payment or at the very least, have decided to put off buying until their debt is more manageable.