KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market
Real Estate

Shrinking pool: First-time buyers battling loan requirements

First-time homebuyers are a shrinking pool, making up less of the housing market.

Typically, they represent about 40 percent of buyers, but today their numbers have dropped to about 31 percent of buyers, according to housing data by the National Association of Realtors.

First-time buyers are the only group of buyers whose share of home purchases has not increased over the last five months, CNBC reports.

FHA mortgages, with low downpayment requirements, are a popular choice among this group of buyers, but the recent rise in FHA mortgage insurance premiums is hampering purchases.

Some sellers are also even refusing to accept offers from first-timers that include FHA financing, real estate agents report.

First-time buyers also face steep competition when targeting lower priced properties. Investors have flooded the market, snagging lower priced properties in all-cash deals that first-time buyers would typically be drawn to.

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