Given the vital role the housing market plays in the U.S. economy, you can look to any number of indicators on a weekly, monthly or annual basis to better understand the current state of the market. Beyond housing starts and home prices, though, first-time homebuyers have emerged as an important bellwether through the cycle.
This group of people is achieving part of the American Dream: Owning a home. In doing so, these buyers take a unit from the market but don’t give one back, like repeat buyers do. First-time homebuyer purchases are pure growth—and growing is just what this segment has done for the past five years. While the first few months of 2020 defy historical trends, here are five takeaways from first-time buyer market behavior in 2019, drawn from data used in Genworth’s Q4’19 First-Time Homebuyer Market Report, to consider as our industry plans for an uncertain future.