System Working Paper 17-28

First-Time Homebuyers: Toward a New Measure

Arthur Acolin | University of Washington
Paul Calem | Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Julapa Jagtiani | Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Susan Wachter | The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Published November 28, 2017

Existing data sources show divergent estimates of the number of homes purchased by first-time homebuyers as a share of all home purchases. In this paper, we use a new data set to construct a time series of the share of first-time homebuyers. This series, based on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), shows a significant decline in this share, particularly for young households, which is consistent with the decline in homeownership in this age cohort since the early 2000s.

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