First-time home buyers in San Diego

With months upon months of reports indicating that current market conditions make it an ideal time for home buyers across the nation, market activity has been picking up. First-time homebuyers looking at homes for sale in San Diego are on the rise.

A recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune cited industry data that indicated nearly one in three homebuyers in September were first-timers to the housing market. The rate of first-time homebuyers was valued at 32 percent in September, which is up from 31 percent in August. However, the rate is still significantly lower than the historical norm of 40 percent. The source revealed that the share of first-time buyers hit its peak in 2009, when it reached 50 percent.

"The trend can be explained by the stricter guidelines to obtain mortgages, lengthy short sales and a high rate of investor purchases that often involve cash," the report stated, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Unsuccessful first-time buyers typically continue their property search, sometimes making a number of bids before securing a property."

Local realtors commented that banks are lending less, taking longer to approve loans and requesting more paperwork and records. However, journalist Author Lily Leung reported that local first-time homebuyer interest is strong. A recent San Diego workshop in late October geared toward educating first-time buyers on their financing options, types of sales and tips to become a more attractive buyer, drew nearly 150 people in attendance.

Mortgage rates dip and applying for a loan
In an article from The Associated Press on November 1, it was revealed that the average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage slipped to 3.39 percent and continued to hover around its record low. The source indicated that this trend has been contributing to a boost in home sales and refinancing across the country, driving a modest housing recovery.

While some complain that stricter rules are preventing first-time homebuyers from securing a loan, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal by AnnaMaria Andriotis indicated otherwise.

"Even rich people have trouble getting home loans," Andriotis said. "Some wealthy home-buyers who could pay cash for million-dollar properties but opt for loans are finding they don't meet typical lending requirements. Now a growing number of lenders are loosening the rules to help these high-end buyers qualify for a mortgage."