Job growth, improving incomes, and low mortgage rates for most of the year led to a rise led to a rise in the share of first-time buyers in 2016.
The Economists’ Outlook blog reports that first-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of all residential sales last year, up from 30 percent in 2015 and 29 percent in both 2012 and 2013.
The aging Millennial generation is also a factor. Buyers 34 years old or younger accounted for 30 percent of sales in December 2016, up from a 26 percent share in July 2013.
The share of first-time homebuyers increased in states such as Arizona, California, Florida, and North Carolina in 2016 compared to the rates in 2015. The share of first-time homebuyers has also increased in Arizona, Florida, and New York since 2012, the first year of solid growth since the recession of 2008-2009.