First time homebuyers taking advantage of foreclosures and short sales


About half of all home purchases in the first quarter of 2009 were first-time home buyers taking advantage of the deeply discounted foreclosures and short sales, as well as their $8,000 tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR released its Metropolitan Median Prices survey for the first quarter today.

However, even with the newfound interest of first time home buyers, sales were sluggish and prices continued to drop. Of 152 metropolitan statistical areas, 134 reported lower prices. Only 18 had price gains. The national median existing single-family home price was $169,000, which is 13.8 percent below the first quarter of 2008. Distressed homes are typically selling for 20 percent less than traditional homes, which is sending the median price lower.