Real State

The Best Markets for First-Time Home Buyers

In a market with high prices, low inventory and high mortgage interest rates, no one faces a steeper uphill climb than first-time home buyers. Generally, they have lower incomes and are younger, meaning they’ve had less time to build good credit and amass a down payment.

But there is hope. A new study from Realtor.com ranks the 10 best U.S. markets for buyers between the ages of 25 and 34 based on several metrics: availability, affordability for median-earning 25-to-34-year-old households, job opportunities, unemployment rate, average commute time, potential growth of local home prices, cultural and entertainment options, and the local proportion of similarly aged residents.

In all, 2,738 markets within the 100 largest U.S. metro areas (with populations of more than 5,000) were considered. For geographic diversity, the top 10 list was limited to one market per metro area.

The median home price in each of the top 10 markets was below $300,000 — less than the national median of about $380,000 — and in four of the 10, it was below $200,000. Inventory was above the national level in six of the 10. These are all causes for optimism.

Recommended locales were generally suburbs or satellites of major cities, which can offer employment and cultural opportunities in the city as well as greater affordability at the fringes. Irondequoit, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, was deemed most promising for first-timers; Benton, Ark., a half-hour drive from Little Rock, followed. Next were Winterset, Iowa, about a half-hour from Des Moines, and markets in the vicinities of Harford, Conn., Omaha, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Baltimore and Syracuse, N.Y.

Mortgage applications and home sales are at historically low levels, but hopeful younger buyers are still trying. According to a separate study by LendingTree, 65 percent of its mortgage approvals in 2023 were issued to first-time buyers. And that makes sense: While homeowners are avoiding the market to hang on to their low mortgage rates, first-timers are out there making moves.

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ScoopSky

Scoop Sky is a blog with all the enjoyable information on many subjects, including fitness and health, technology, fashion, entertainment, dating and relationships, beauty and make-up, sports and many more.

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