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Forget everything you’ve heard about first-time homebuyers. They’re doing all right.

Bloomberg News/Landov
A real estate agent, right, and potential home buyers tour a home for sale in Sparland, Illinois.

How many first-time homebuyers are there in the housing market?

That’s an important question. A smaller share of first-timers suggests that the market may be too competitive or too expensive – and ultimately not very inclusive. A bigger share suggests market conditions may be a bit easier, and that more Americans are getting a shot at attaining upward mobility.

But it is surprisingly difficult to pin down exactly how many home purchases go to first-timers, and a new set of research reports from the New York Fed attempts to correct that.

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