iEmergent Sees First-Time Buyers Taking 22% of 2009 Sales

First time home buyers (FTHBs) will represent 22.3% of all homes sales in 2009, according to estimates from iEmergent, an Iowa-based market research firm. In the forecast, lenders will grant 955,000 loans to first time buyers this year, generating $133bn nationwide. iEmgergent predicts more FTHB loans if the $8,000 first-time home-buyer tax credit is expanded. If that credit is granted but not extended beyond Dec. 31, 2009, FTHB purchases should sharply spike in the later months of 2009. “FTHB lending is crucial to future lending competition,” said Dennis Hedlund, founder and president of iEmergent, in a corporate release. Because the outlook for the year’s total purchases remains thin, FTHB lending will take up a larger percentage of all purchase loans. But as the housing market pendulum settles, the FTHB percentage will decline from recent spikes, Hedlund said. The 2009 First Time Home Buyer loan volume forecast takes into account market histories, demographics and housing metrics to determine the potential amount of first time buyers within a local community. That initial estimate is then adjusted for more fluctuating factors such as unemployment, foreclosure rates, home affordability and inventory trends. Write to Jon Prior.

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