There have been a few factors fueling buyer demand the past three years. Certainly, historically low mortgage rates drove some Americans to buy a house sooner than they may have otherwise. But most people don't buy a house simply because market conditions are favorable. Most of us buy because of a big life change like a new job, getting married, or having kids. That never changes, which is why in the months ahead demographics will play a bigger role in the housing market than affordability conditions. For example, a recent consumer survey found the median age of first-time buyers last year was 35 years old. The millennial generation – which is the largest generation group in the U.S. at around 72 million people – is now between their late twenties and early forties. That means a lot of Americans are entering the stage of life when they're likely to buy their first home. It also a means spring buyers should be prepared for competition, especially in the more affordable price ranges that appeal to younger home shoppers.
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