According to Freddie Mac’s first-quarter home lending data, nearly half of all borrowers who took out home mortgages during the first three months of this year were first-time homebuyers. Those borrowers’ median age is 32, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater called the influx of new buyers a “millennial -driven rise,” crediting “a strong economy…along with the appetite of the financial market to invest in mortgages.”

Bloomberg reporter Prashant Gopal speculated these new Millennial households are moving away from renting in response to the threat of rising property values and the potential for rising interest rates. These factors “threaten to price them out of homeownership,” Gopal wrote. First-time buyer mortgages have been on the rise relatively steadily since mid-2012, when about a third of all Freddie Mac-backed financing went to this population.

Most Millennials report being financially stressed, usually due to student loans. In fact, according to Pew Research, borrowers with bachelor’s degrees usually owe about $25,000. Those with post-graduate degrees owe a median of $45,000, and many Millennials extended their education in order to compensate for a lack of employment options during the Great Recession.

However, for Millennials who say they want to own a home at some point, the time to buy probably feels like now. Home prices are already high. Multifamily rents are rising. Interest rates are rising.

“While it’s a tricky time to be a young homebuyer, it might be a good one compared to next year,” Gopal said.

Categories | Article | Market & Trends
  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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