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Survey shows first time homebuyer activity on the rise

First time buyers

sold signIn March, first time homebuyers accounted for a record high share of all American real estate sales, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions which surveys over 1,500 real estate agents monthly regarding sales and mortgage patterns.

The survey found that 48.2% of March’s residential real estate transactions were made by first time homebuyers, with the previous record held last October. What both March and October have in common is the near end of the $8,000 tax credit with the key difference being that this time, an extension is not seen as likely.

Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys said, “Many observers had felt that the pool of first time homebuyers had been depleted last fall, but this is turning out not to be the case. Instead, the normal spring-summer buying season is combining with the tax credit to produce blow-out results for first-time homebuyers.”

Distressed residential real estate

The spike in first timer activity has coincided with a rise in distressed properties, up 12.7% from November 2009. In March, 18.6% of real estate transactions were short sales which buyers are becoming more aware and less leery of.
“None of the survey results take into account the new Home Affordable Foreclosures Alternative (HAFA) program for short sales,” noted Popik. “This government program took effect in early April, so we expect short sales to account for an even greater proportion of the real estate market in coming months.”

CC Licensed photo courtesy of bng via

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Dean Ouellette

    April 20, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Yes the percentage may be high but that is only because most move up buyers are underwater and cannot get out of their home. The number of first time buyers may not be anything historic, but as a percentage of the market I bet it is.

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