Hello San Diego,
This could easily be answered with the following: "it depends". However, I realize you are looking for a little more substance, so here are some of my thoughts:
There is a perception that a first time home buyer has little cash to put down, and while this may be the case in some situations, it is not always true. Speaking from experience, I have had "first time" home buyers pay all cash for homes up to 800K. Given this situation, I'd say that makes for buying a home a lot easier than a "move up" buyer, who has to deal with selling their property and writing up an offer that is contingent upon the sale of their existing home
In fact, since your question addresses the "current market", I'm going to go with a move up buyer, since I will assume they have to write up a "contingent offer." In this environment, with places getting up to 50 offers or more, there is no way they will take a contingent offer. However, they will not exclude someone simply because they are a first time home buyer (nor would they likely even know that.)
So, as Regis would prompt me to say.....Yes, this is my final answer. Of course, there are some many variables to this, that one could easily argue the other is true depending on the facts of the case (ie, a move up buyer who is simply moving up but doesn't have to sell their current place would be in a much better position than a first time home buyer).
I could go on and on, but it's time to find my client's (both move up and first timer's) some properties.
Chad Basinger, REALTORÂ®, CPA, CFPÂ®