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Harder now for first-time buyers?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 16, 2012 06:58 AM

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OK, that may sound obvious, but it isn't.

Since the housing bubble burst, first-time buyers have actually enjoyed one big advantage - they don't have to sell a home in order to buy another.

But with home sales steadily on the rise now - pending deals were up nearly 36 percent in October across Massachusetts - the playing field is leveling out a bit.

However, while veteran homeowners looking to move up may finally be getting their big break, things may actually be getting tougher for first-timers.

Banks are still reluctant to lend, with first-timers coming in for more than their share of scrutiny.

Now it looks like as many as 43 percent of first-time buyers have had at least one deal fall through before finally snagging that first home, reports Waltham-based, which conducted a nationwide online survey of 1,500 individuals.

First-time buyers are losing out after getting hit with low-ball appraisals or outbid by investors ready to pay cash, notes Ted Stimpson, chief executive of MyMove.

"A significant number of first-time buyers are running into problems," Simpson said.

Skeptical? Well apparently Ben Bernanke is worried about the same thing.

Here's a quote from a speech the Fed chief gave in Atlanta yesterday cautioning the real estate market is not yet out the woods. Here's a link to the piece in The Hill.

Overly tight lending standards may now be preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes, thereby slowing the revival in housing and impeding the economic recovery.

Let's hear it from the first-time buyers out there? Is it tougher than you thought it would be? Have you lost out on a house you thought you were set to buy?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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