March 5th, 2019

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Despite the challenges the housing market has seen in recent years, last year actually saw something very positive: according to Genworth Mortgage Insurance’s First-Time Homebuyer Market Report, first-time homebuyers had their biggest year since 2006, with 2.07 million first-timers buying single-family homes. On the flip side, repeat buyers saw a 7% decrease in 2018. Last year also saw the highest level of first-time homebuyer mix in 18 years as those consumers accounted for 39% of single-family houses sold and representing 56% of new purchase loans. However, Q4 saw a not-so-mild decline as the number of homebuyers diminished due to rising home prices and interest rates.

One big statistic to note from the report is that 2018 saw 682,000 first-time buyers obtaining conventional loans with PMI, which was 53,000 more than FHA loans. At the same time, the average house price for this group declined 2% year-over-year.

So what does all this mean for mortgage professionals? It means that first-time homebuyers are a major demographic in today’s mortgage arena and they are actively looking for opportunities to buy homes they can afford. They’re also not as reliant upon government loans as they may be painted to be. As a long officer, be sure to actively market to first-time buyers, present to them multiple loan options, and stick with them through the process of finding and securing a home.