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First-Time Homebuyers: Toward a New Measure

System Working Paper 17-28 | Published November 28, 2017

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Authors

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

First-Time Homebuyers: Toward a New Measure

Abstract

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.