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The top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers

These places combine affordability, popularity and opportunity

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The slower pace of formation of new households continues to bedevil the economy.

Maybe those looking wouldn’t put off buying their first-time home if they looked in the right places.

Realtor.com has the answer to the question: What are the top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers?

"As we head into home buying season, these markets show favorable conditions for first-time buyers, which is encouraging because these buyers are crucial to the housing market," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc., operator of realtor.com.

"First-time buyers have a widespread impact on the local housing markets. In transitioning from renters to owners, new buyers pay property taxes and other fees and taxes associated with homeownership that benefits local schools and services," Berkowitz said.

Realtor.com looked at a wide range of factors. Researchers looked at market popularity, prices, inventory, time on market and employment, to see which markets currently are the best for new buyers. Buying a home in popular markets increases the likelihood of making money on a first home.   

They also looked at affordability. One of the biggest barriers to homeownership is affordability. Less expensive homes are typically a better fit for first-time buyers as they require less of a down payment and have lower monthly mortgage payments.

Because inventory shortages can spark bidding wars that can make buying more of a challenge for first-time buyers.

The age of inventory on the market is a clear indicator of demand in a market, and when it’s high that can hurt first-time buyers.

Finally, Realtor.com looked at the local employment situation. New buyers need to work and hold steady jobs in markets that support their job.

Based on these five factors, Realtor.com ranked them as follows.

MSA

Median Listing Price

YOY % Change

MOM % Change

Total Listings

YOY % Change

MOM % Change

Median Age of Inventory

YOY % Change

MOM % Change

Un-employm

ent rate

Pittsburgh, PA

$135,000

0.00%

1.58%

11,026

-3.21%

-0.38%

128

1.59%

2.40%

5.70%

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

$169,900

13.34%

0.53%

21,062

33.96%

2.90%

88

-1.12%

-5.38%

5.90%

Philadelphia, PA-NJ(NJ)

$174,900

0.00%

1.39%

10,656

2.19%

2.98%

141

-1.40%

-3.42%

6.40%

Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

$175,000

3.61%

0.06%

8,433

7.44%

15.54%

67

0.00%

-19.28%

5.40%

Orlando, FL

$191,900

12.95%

1.00%

13,425

49.17%

4.33%

81

12.50%

-5.81%

5.50%

Jacksonville, FL

$198,000

1.59%

1.59%

9,787

25.47%

2.99%

95

5.56%

-5.94%

5.60%

Philadelphia, PA-NJ(PA)

$219,000

1.86%

2.82%

21,909

-4.72%

1.78%

121

5.22%

-0.82%

6.40%

Dallas, TX

$224,900

12.45%

2.23%

15,887

10.28%

18.72%

57

1.79%

-25.97%

5.40%

Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

$227,500

5.81%

1.11%

9,435

-0.99%

6.68%

98

4.26%

-7.55%

4.90%

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ

$244,900

13.96%

2.04%

23,654

45.34%

9.02%

59

13.46%

-20.27%

6.20%

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