Young couples and singles in their late 20s and early 30s are making a belated entry into the home-buying market, confirms several recent housing reports. Rising rents are prompting more millennials to move toward home ownership, along with an extra push from mortgage rates being in the mid-3 percent range, the government’s recent efforts to ease credit requirements for a loan, and moderating home prices that are helping to improve housing affordability.

Opening the Credit Door
3% Down Payments May Be Game Changer
FHA Lowers its Harangued Mortgage Costs
Smaller Down Payments Lure More Buyers

A recent monthly poll of more than 2,000 real estate professionals nationwide showed higher reports of first-time buyer activity much earlier than is typical, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The survey showed that first-time homebuyers accounted for about 36 percent of overall home purchases in December.

The real estate brokerage Redfin said that surveys of its agents have recently shown first-time buyers accounting for 57 percent of its home tours – its highest rate recorded in recent years. What’s more, home-purchase education class requests – which typically come from first-time buyers – surged 27 percent in January year-over-year.

The National Association of REALTORS® reported that first-time buyers comprised 29 percent of existing-home sales in December, up from 27 percent a year ago.

NAR President Chris Polychron says the Federal Housing Administration’s plan to reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums likely will have a positive impact on springing first-time buyers into action. FHA, which offers loans with down payments as low as 3.5 percent, decreased its insurance premiums on Jan. 26 from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent.

“REALTORS® support responsible lending to qualified borrowers and the move to lower premiums will enable more buyers to enter the market while continuing to protect taxpayers from the risky lending practices that led to the housing crash,” Polychron said in a statement.

Jonathan Smoke, chief economist®, has called 2015 the “year of the millennial” in real estate.

“Millennials are at a critical demographic tipping point where their sheer numbers will naturally drive demand for more home sales,” he notes in recent housing commentary at®.

He says that home sellers should be encouraged, particularly those who own affordable homes and are looking for a long-overdue upgrade. With the move by many lenders recently to permit smaller down payments on home purchases, more millennials will likely make a move and that means home sellers “who’ve been sitting on equity in entry-level homes can finally upgrade to bigger homes and retirement homes.”

About Brian Heafy

After a 30 year career in the information technology/professional services industry Brian began his second career as a real estate professional in 2012.

Brian began his career in 1982 with the United States Marine Corps as a systems analyst providing software project management and implementation services to Marine Corps Aviation Logistics Squadrons in Iwakuni, Japan and later as a defense contractor assigned as lead technical program manager to the Navy Management Systems Support Office in San Diego.

Brian went on to serve as technology manager for the City of Coral Springs, then joined a publicly traded government (ERP) software and professional services provider in Lake Mary, Florida as VP of the company’s Public Safety & Justice Systems group where he and his teams supported over 450 small, medium and large Police, Fire, Courts and EMS agencies across the U.S. and Caribbean. Brian also served in technology management positions supporting commercial off the shelf software enterprise resource management systems finance and administration application software and public safety and justice systems application software projects for the City of Orlando and Orange County Clerk of Courts.

Brian’s in-depth understanding of governmental operations and contract management is a benefit to his real estate clients, so much of what gets accomplished in today’s real estate industry deals with understanding government databases, brokerage disclosures, banking and governmental regulations each with their own set of established procedures – at all levels of government (local, county, state, federal).

Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Barry University. A Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker and member of the Greater Orlando Regional Realtors Association, member of the Marine Corps Association and former Web Sergeant for the United States Marine Corps League in Orlando, Florida. A native Floridian Brian and his wife Yoshiko have been married over 32 years and have two grown children.