NAR: First-time buyers make up smaller share of market

Demographics shift to older, wealthier buyers

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The share of first-time homebuyers dropped to less than 4 in 10 of all home sales from July 2010 through June 2011, after hitting a record high of 50 percent the year before, according to an annual National Association of Realtors survey of buyers and sellers.

The share of first-timer buyers, 37 percent, is the lowest rate since 2006 at the height of the housing boom. The South and Midwest had the smallest share of first-timers, 34 percent, while the Northeast had the biggest share, 43 percent. The West had a share of 42 percent in the 2011 report.