The highly competitive housing market has caused frustration and heartache for first-time buyers since the pandemic began. The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that first-time homebuyers represent a smaller and smaller share of overall real estate transactions — just 29 percent in August.

Shrinking ranks of first-time homebuyers

August was the first time in years that first-time homebuyers accounted for less than 30 percent of national real estate purchases in any single month. And the situation isn’t likely to change any time soon.

“It’s just the nature of a tight market,” said Gay Cororaton, senior economist and director of housing and commercial research at the National Association of Realtors. “First-time buyers are having trouble competing.”

A variety of factors are confounding first-timers, including limited housing supply, which is pushing up prices. In addition, as empty-nesters…

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