First-time home buyers are making up a larger share of the buying market due to low home prices, abundant supply and affordable interest rates, according to new research by NAR. The 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers finds that the number of first-time home buyers rose to 41 percent this year, up from 39 percent in 2007, and 36 percent in 2006.

“Although modest, this is a meaningful gain for the 12-month period ending at the close of June, and more recent independent data show a stronger uptrend in first-time buyers who are helping to reduce excess inventory,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The study shows the median age of first-time buyers was 30, down from 31 in 2007, and the median income was $60,600. The typical first-time home buyer purchased a home for $165,000 and plans to stay in it for 10 years, up from seven years in 2007.

The median age of home sellers was 47, and the median income was $91,000. Three-fourths were married couples who had lived in their homes for six years and were moving a median distance of 19 miles. Their home was on the market an average of eight weeks.

Eighty-one percent of home buyers and sellers used a real estate agent. Nine out of 10 would definitely or probably reuse their agent or recommend them to others. These results are consistent with 2007 findings. Mon, Nov 10, 2008