First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in March, up two percent from the month before. NAR president Steve Brown believes this number can be higher. “There are indications that the stringent mortgage underwriting standards are beginning to ease a bit, particularly regarding credit score requirements, but they remain a headwind for entry-level and single-income home buyers,” he said.
“We also have tight inventory in the lower price ranges where many starter homes are found, but rising new-home construction means some owners will be trading up and more existing homes will be added to the inventory. Hopefully, this will create more opportunities for first-time buyers,” Brown said.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reports that the average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was hovering at 4.34 percent during March. These historic low rates optimize housing affordability for today’s home buyer.