10 best cities for first-time homebuyers

|
10 best cities for first-time homebuyers
Image Credit: Dreamstime
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.
Advertisement

Saving up enough money for a down payment is challenging enough for most first-time homebuyers, but the red-hot housing market is making things even more difficult.

In many cities across the United States, affordable homes receive multiple offers within a few days.

Read more: How I paid off my $86,000 mortgage in 2 years

Top 10 cities for first-time buyers

A new study from Zillow, the online real estate database company, found that first-time buyers looking for an affordable home should consider the Southeast.

In addition to lower prices, there’s more inventory in cities like Orlando and Tampa.

San Antonio, Atlanta and Dallas are less competitive compared to other parts of the country, Zillow’s study revealed. Buyers there can expect to see strong growth over the next year.

These metrics were used to determine Zillow’s best markets for first-time buyers:

  • Lower median home value for a more affordable down payment
  • Strong home value forecast as an indicator of building equity
  • Higher inventory-to-household ratio to capture available supply
  • Shorter Breakeven Horizon to show a financial advantage of buying over renting
  • Greater share of listings with price cuts to indicate a less competitive market

“As millennials reach the typical home buying age, they are coming into a tough housing market with low inventory and lots of competition,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “These markets have more favorable conditions for first-time buyers to become homeowners. More challenging metros aren’t out of reach for new buyers, but they should be prepared to face a more competitive buying environment.”

The top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers are…

10. Cleveland, Ohio

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $132,400
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 11 months
  • Inventory: 10,045
  • Households: 849,475
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 1.8%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 14.1

9. Dallas, Texas

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $205,300
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 8 months
  • Inventory: 16,331
  • Households: 2,479,995
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 4.4%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 13.7

8. Detroit, Michigan

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $138,700
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 7 months
  • Inventory: 13,919
  • Households: 1,674,251
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 3.2%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 12.7

7. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $175,800
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 9 months
  • Inventory: 28,888
  • Households: 2,028,705
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 3.1%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 12.4

6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $135,700
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 11 months
  • Inventory: 10,830
  • Households: 990,355
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 2.5%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 14.9

5. San Antonio, Texas

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $158,500
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 11 months
  • Inventory: 7,444
  • Households: 791,273
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 3.0%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 17.2

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $219,200
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 2 years, 1 months
  • Inventory: 13,012
  • Households: 740,966
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 4.8%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 12.0

3. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $137,300
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 6 months
  • Inventory: 7,706
  • Households: 755,100
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 3.0%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 13.1

2. Tampa, Florida

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: $183,300
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 10 months
  • Inventory: 14,998
  • Households: 1,166,704
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 3.2%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 18.8

1. Orlando, Florida

  • Zillow Home Value Index, March 2017: 202,900
  • Breakeven Horizon, Q1 2017: 1 year, 11 months
  • Inventory: 10,344
  • Households: 845,295
  • Annual forecasted home value appreciation: 3.8%
  • Share of listings with a price cut: 17.4

On the other hand, cities in the Northeast and West were least favorable for first-time buyers, the study found.

Zillow says a 5% down payment in the San Francisco Bay Area is larger than a 20% down payment in most of the cities on this list. Location really does make a difference!

Read more in Clark Howard’s guide for first-time homebuyers.

Selling your home without an agent

Advertisement
Mike Timmermann About the author:
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments