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First-time home buyers fuel real estate market

Study finds they help existing owners trade up, down

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A large pool of first-time home buyers provide liquidity to the housing market and make it easier for existing owners to trade up or trade down, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Realtors. First-time home buyers account for four out of 10 home purchases. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the market share of first-time buyers has been stable since 1993. "Strong activity by entry-level buyers has provided solid and substantial growth to the housing market over the last decade," Lereah said. "The demographics of our country favor this trend going forward because echo-boomers, the children of the baby boom generation and almost as large, will be in the prime years for buying a first home for the next decade. These findings demonstrate a fundamental underlying demand that will be driving the housing market at a higher plateau for the foreseeable future." The typical first-time buyer is 32 years old, has a household income of $54,500 and makes a d...