Is your market good for first-time buyers?

by Ryan Smith12 Apr 2016
The real estate market may be booming, but that’s not necessarily good news for first-time home buyers. Low inventory and soaring prices across the nation have made it difficult for borrowers shopping for their first house to get a foot in the door.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the share of first-time buyers declined for the third consecutive year in 2015 to its lowest point in nearly 30 years. First-time buyers made up just 32% of all buyers last year, a drop of 33% from 2014, according to the NAR.

But there are some enclaves where first-time buyers can still get a good deal. Realtor.com has released a list of the best U.S. cities for first-time buyers. Focusing on buyers between 25 and 34, Realtor.com made its determinations by the following criteria:
  • Affordability
  • Inventory
  • Mortgage availability
  • Job growth
  • Livability (measured by the number of restaurants, schools, retailers, health care facilities and arts and entertainment venues)
Here, then, are the top cities for first-time buyers, according to Realtor:com:
  1. Portland, Maine – Median home price: $304,000. Unemployment: 3.3%
  2. Philadelphia, Penn. – Median home price: $222,000. Unemployment: 4.8%
  3. St. Louis, Mo. – Median home price: $164,000. Unemployment: 5.2%
  4. Allentown, Penn. – Median home price: $188,000. Unemployment: 5%
  5. Albany, N.Y. – Median home price: $238,000. Unemployment: 4.5%
  6. Harrisburg, Penn. – Median home price: $168,000. Unemployment: 4.2%
  7. Baton Rouge, La. – Median home price: $217,000. Unemployment: 4.8%
  8. Dayton, Ohio – Median home price: $115,000. Unemployment: 5.2%
  9. Minneapolis, Minn. – Median home price: $294,000. Unemployment: 3.9%
  10. Virginia Beach, Va. – Median home price: $256,000. Unemployment: 5%

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