Industry News

Pool of first-time home buyers shrinks in California

Buyers are bringing less money to the closing table

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The share of first-time home buyers dropped from 30.5 percent in 2005 to 27.1 percent in 2006 in California, according to a real estate market report released today by the California Association of Realtors trade group. "The State of the California Housing Market" found that the share of buyers who used a second mortgage rose from 38 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2006, which is the highest percentage since 1982. And the share of home buyers with zero down payments increased from 4.5 percent in 2000 to 21.1 percent in 2006, the Realtor group reported. Leslie Appleton-Young, vice president and chief economist for the Realtor group, said in a statement that two out of five first-time buyers made a zero down payment on their home purchase, while one in 10 repeat buyers purchased their home with no down payment. The C.A.R. survey also found that the share of buyers who used a second mortgage climbed from 38 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2006 -- more than triple the percentage sin...