First-Time Homebuyer Participation Declining? Not So Says Two Atlanta Federal Reserve Economists

Recent reports in the media state that first-time homebuyer participation is on the decline due to rising interest rates, tight credit lending, or rapidly rising home prices. But, two Atlanta Federal Reserve economists disagree with these reports and claim that the data from the US Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, and other sources, does not indicate “a material decline in first-time buyer participation.” Examining data from October 1983 through September 2011 revealed that the long-term linear trend line of first-time buyer participation was slightly upward when including the data from the tax credit period from July 2008 through September 2010. When excluding the data from the tax credit period, the data showed that the trend line for first-time buyer participation remained flat. To read more, go to

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