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A second chance at homeownership: Here come the boomerang buyers

Make way for the so-called boomerang buyers.

California-based RealtyTrac Inc. is projecting that more than 550,000 homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure or short sale during the foreclosure crisis will be back in the market this year after passing the seven-year window they conservatively needed to repair their credit.

Through 2022, 7.3 million boomerang buyers will be in a position to buy a home again, according to RealtyTrac. The peak year is expected to be 2018, when more than 1.3 million people could be looking to buy again.

Many of those buyers will be from the major metropolitan areas hit hardest by foreclosures.

RealtyTrac sees the most potential buyers in the Phoenix market with 348,329. Las Vegas has the highest potential percentage of total housing units being sold to boomerang buyers at 26.3 percent.

RealtyTrac only studied the markets with populations of at least 250,000.

In Central Pennsylvania, potential boomerang buyers are expected to make up for about 3 to 4 percent of total housing units, according to RealtyTrac.

The greatest potential is in York-Hanover, with 7,463 projected buyers, or about 4.2 percent of homes from 2015 to 2022.

In Harrisburg-Carlisle, the projection is 7,228, or 3 percent of homes. RealtyTrac is expecting 5,678 potential boomerang buyers in Lancaster County, or 2.8 percent of housing units over the eight-year period.

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