Morning Minute: First-time buyers returning as a force in the spring housing market?

If the increased interest over the last few months are any indication, first-time homebuyers are getting back into the housing market and could be an important factor in the spring buying/selling season, according to a new Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.

First-time homebuyers accounted for 34.5 percent of purchases in February, up from 32.9 percent in December. And first-time homebuyer traffic hit a four-year high of 66.4 percent in February, according to the HousingPulse traffic index. Read the full news release.

“First-time homebuyers are the wildcard in the upcoming spring-summer homebuying season,” said Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. “We see strong first-time homebuyer traffic, but it’s still not clear that the traffic will translate into increased purchases, because first-time homebuyers are dependent on low-downpayment financing, such as FHA mortgages, and announced FHA program changes will take effect this spring.”

In other news:

Phase-out of cap on property tax assessments begins in city this year – Chicago Sun-Times

Real estate apps can help, or overwhelm, homebuyers – Belleville News-Democrat

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About Stephanie Sievers

Stephanie Sievers is Associate Editor for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. She serves as Associate Editor for IAR publications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and all other IAR publications. She is responsible for developing content for the Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection e-newsletter, coordinates the IAR Twitter account content at ILREALTOR and plans and develops content for videos. She assists in developing and writing content for the IAR blog. She also is involved in researching and drafting news releases and coordinates the news media distribution database and newsclips reports for the Association. She also assists in IAR spokesperson training seminars and is involved in development of association briefing materials on issues. She assists with the housing statistics program and reports.