After years of sitting on the sidelines, millennial home buyers are finally embracing home ownership. First-time buyers accounted for 38 percent of all single-family home purchases in the fourth quarter of 2017 according to data released last week by Genworth Mortgage Insurance. This represents a seven percent increase over 2016.
The U.S. Census Bureau states that the homeownership rate for Americans under the age of 35 is the highest it has been in four years – 36 percent.
Nearly half of first-time home buyers are utilizing low-down payment mortgage programs such as FHA loans which allow for as little as 3.5 percent down. 48 percent of first-time buyers put less than 5 percent down while 24 percent used gift funds for at least part of their down payment.
Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.5 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.875 percent while the 5-year ARM is averaging 4 percent.