Why Are Things So Tough for First-time Homebuyers?

A little over a decade ago, about half of homes were being sold to first-time buyers.

Things have changed.

Now, only 27% of sold homes are going to first-time buyers. It isn’t that people aren’t interested in purchasing a home โ€“ after all, demand for homes was turbocharged during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But first-time homebuyers are having an exceptionally hard time breaking into the market. What gives? Why are a record low proportion of properties being sold to people buying their first home?

1. High Price of Homes

The first reason first-time homebuyers are having a hard time accessing the market is the sky-high price of homes.

Home prices have risen nearly 20% in the past year โ€“ representing an unusual and historic surge that disadvantages first-time buyers, who are typically younger, haven’t accumulated housing equity, and don’t have the means to make a sizable down payment.

Whether rising home prices will abate at some point this year is hotly debated, but the price of homes has been juiced by three interrelated factors:

  1. Inventory: Housing inventory remains at a record low, and continued supply chain bottlenecks leaves most experts predicting low inventory for the foreseeable future.
  2. Inflation: Inflation is at its highest rate in 40 years, increasing the price of consumer goods and services โ€“ including homes and the materials necessary to build them.
  3. Investors: Investors buy about one-third of homes in the U.S., increasing competition for available homes. Rising inflation could cause even more investors to flood the housing market, as real estate is traditionally seen as a safe investment against devalued currency.

Overall, rising prices is the biggest challenge for anyone โ€“ especially those making their first purchase โ€“ who wants to buy a home.

2. Rising Interest and Mortgage Rates

The high price of homes alone serves as an impediment for first-time homebuyers. But it’s not the only factor boxing first-time buyers out of the real estate market.

Rising interest and mortgage rates are also squeezing first-time homebuyers especially hard.

Consider a couple buying their first home. They’re targeting a mortgage of $200,000, which is already far lower than the median in many markets. Rising interest rates, which the Federal Reserve introduced to tamp down inflation, have risen from 2.6% to around 5% in the past 16 months. The $200,000 mortgage the buyers are targeting? It’s now more than $200 per month more expensive than it would have been 16 months ago.

Skyrocketing mortgage rates mean that the competition for affordable homes is even higher than before โ€“ prospective buyers seem, on average, aware that rates are likely to rise even further in the short and medium-term.

3. Slowing Wage Growth

As if rising home prices and steeper mortgage rates weren’t enough, first-time homebuyers also face the new challenge of apparently slower wage growth.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, government stimulus, and a historically tight labor market, American wages grew fast. But that wage growth has cooled somewhat in the early part of 2022, with more people working or looking for work and employers feeling less pressure to offer pay increases to bring people into the labor force.

Slower wage growth may be a relief to people concerned about inflation, but is in the short-term a major difficulty for homebuyers, especially those purchasing for the first time. Wages are generally not keeping pace with inflation, and the preexisting high price of homes and rising mortgage rates mean that many young buyers are less equipped to buy than they were months ago.

For the immediate future, first-time homebuyers are likely to struggle to enter the housing market. In the long term, tapering home prices and mortgage rates and increased inventory could make for a friendlier first-time homebuyer market.

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.

Other articles of interest: Is Housing Inventory Finally About to Rise? | Are We in a Real Estate Bubble?

It can feel daunting but it isn’t. It is a journey. The Caton Team believes in Home Ownership for long term wealth and are here every step of the way.

The Caton Team is here to help.

We love what we do and would love to help you navigate your sale or purchase of residential Real Estate. Please reach out at your convenience for a personal consultation. Please enjoy our free resources below and get to know our team through our clients’ words.

HOW TO SELL | HOW TO BUY

 How can The Caton Team help You?

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |  EMAIL  |  WEB  |   BLOG

Get exclusive inside access when you follow us on Facebook & Instagram

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – wouldโ€™t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |EMAIL |  WEB|   BLOG

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices โ€“ Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Published by

Sabrina Caton - The Caton Team - Realtors

Sabrina & Susan are native Californians - born and raised in the Silicon Valley with a passion for Residential Real Estate. A mother and daughter-in-law duo called - The Caton Team. With over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge โ€“ wouldโ€™t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time. Call | Text at: 650-799-4333 | Email Info@TheCatonTeam.com The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true. The Peninsula is our backyard - let us help make it yours. We represent Buyerโ€™s and Sellerโ€™s throughout the Bay Area. The Caton Team โ€“ Susan & Sabrina A Family of Realtors Effective. Efficient. Responsive. What can we do for you?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.