Survey: bigger share of first-time buyers

64% of sellers choose agent on referral, repeat biz

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The latest annual National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released Friday, found that the share of first-time homebuyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales, compared with 41 percent in the 2008 study — with 55 percent of first-time buyers using a Federal Housing Administration-insured loan and 8 percent using the Veterans Affairs loan program.

The results are based on 9,138 responses from a national sample of homebuyers who completed an eight-page survey in July 2009.