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Typical buyers intend to live in their home for 10 or 15 years: NAR
NEW ORLEANS (MarketWatch) - At a time when many Americans are wondering how - and when - the housing market will recover, some people not only are encouraging first-time buyers to jump in to the market, they're also helping them come up with a down payment.
Twenty-seven percent of first-time buyers who purchased a home between July 2009 and June 2010 received a gift from family or friends to help with the down payment, according to the National Association of Realtors' annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey, released at NAR's annual conference here.
That's up from 22% a year earlier, and is the highest percentage in the more than 20 years the survey has been conducted, said NAR spokesman Walter Molony.
Also, 9% of first-time buyers received a loan from a relative or friend in the most recent data, compared with 6% who said the same in the results released last year, according to NAR. The survey included responses from 8,449 home buyers.
It's likely many parents were motivated to help their children take advantage of a now-expired home-buyer tax credit of up to $8,000, and other favorable conditions, including lower prices and mortgage rates, researchers said. Tougher lending criteria may have also been a factor playing into the trend, Molony said.
First-time home buyers made up a record 50% of all buyers during the period, up from 47% in last year's figures, according to the report.
While gifts have helped young buyers make down payments for years, "more people are having to do it because even if their credit is good, they need [more of] a down payment," said Hope Harvey, a property manager and sales broker with Sugar Ski & Country Club, in Banner Elk, N.C.
People no longer can get a no-down-payment mortgage, Harvey said at the conference, so they're asking for more help from their family and friends - that is, if their loved ones can afford to help them out.
"Not everyone has that rich uncle to get that gift from," Harvey said.
Or grandparent: Simone A. Barrett, of the Barrett Realty Group, in Madison, Conn., said that in her market, it's often grandparents who are helping young buyers attain their first piece of real estate.
"In my area, homes tend to be higher priced. For the most part, young people can't afford to buy," she said.
In other markets, the monthly cost of renting can be more than the monthly cost of owning a home, said James J. Driscoll, with Auburn Sherlock Homes Real Estate, based in Auburn N.Y. "We don't have a high median price range," and if a person's choice was between a $1,000 rent and a $650 mortgage payment, "why wouldn't you buy?" he said, if you're qualified and have the means to make the purchase.
Barriers to entry
Certainly, many potential buyers aren't buying in today's market because they're worried about the economy; for instance, they may be concerned about the security of the job they currently have.
And for those who have the desire to buy, the road to obtaining financing can be a rough one - and sometimes a deal killer - if their credit scores aren't up to par or they don't have enough cash to put down, for example.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.