First-time home buying is down by about 12 percent these days, and new research shows the reason could be that the typical first-timers are too saddled with college loan debt to get into the home ownership game. And this matters to the market. From the Seattle Times:
If predominantly young, first-time purchasers are not entering the homeownership pipeline at anywhere near their traditional rate, at some point the system begins to choke. Owners of modest-priced starter homes find it more difficult to sell and move up.
They in turn can’t buy the larger homes they crave, reducing demand for houses in the more expensive categories. A shortage of first-time buyers at the intake level eventually triggers problems all the way up.
Making it even worse? Lots of students are in default, which damages credit scores and makes it harder to quality for a mortgage.
• Another pitfall of student debt: delayed homebuying [Seattle Times]