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First-time Buyers Boost Sales

Existing-home sales rebounded strongly in September and were propelled by sales from first-time buyers reaching a 34 percent share, which is a high not seen in over four years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions saw an increase in closings last month, and distressed sales fell to a new low of 4 percent of the market.
Total sales which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops, hiked 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.47 million in September. After last month’s gain, sales are at their highest pace since June and are 0.6 percent above a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the two-month slump in existing sales reversed course convincingly in September. “The home search over the past several months for a lot of prospective buyers, and especially for first-time buyers, took longer than usual, he said. “Most families and move-up buyers look to close before the new school year starts. Their diminishing presence from the market towards the end of summer created more opportunities for aspiring first-time homeowners to buy last month.”
The median existing-home price in September was $234,200, up 5.6 percent from September of last year ($221,700). September’s price increase marks the 55thconsecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Matching the highest share since July 2012, first-time buyers were 34 percent of sales in September, which is up from 31 percent in August and 29 percent a year ago. First-time buyers represented 30 percent of sales in all of 2015.

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