WASHINGTON -- The mortgage market may be softening, but that's not diminishing the importance of owning a home for young consumers.
According to the National Association of Realtors' 2005 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the percentage of first-time homebuyers under age 25 has been increasing in response to historically low interest rates and continued confidence in the long-term housing market. The number of homebuyers in that age group was up to 14% in 2005 from 11% in 2001.
The NAR study also showed younger buyers are more likely to use technology and the Internet in their home buying search. In 2005, NAR research showed the median age of buyers who used the Interest to search for homes was 11 years younger than those who didn't--38 years old and 49 years old, respectively.
NAR President Thomas Stevens said the next generation of homeowners is beginning to exert its influence on the housing market. Many of these young buyers have seen the wealth-building effects of homeownership in their parents and understand the value of housing as a good long-term investment.
As they begin to enter the housing market, many consumers in their 20s are more likely to buy a home at a younger age than their older brothers and sisters as well as their baby boomer parents, and they're not necessarily waiting for marriage or even a long-term relationship before becoming homeowners.