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Tampa Bay among best housing markets for first-time buyers

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area has been named the second best market for first-time home buyers, according to a recent study.

The report examined five factors including market popularity, prices, inventory, time on market and employment, to see which markets currently are the best for new buyers:

Location, location, location: Market popularity is an important consideration for first-time buyers. It is common for owners to become "move up" buyers and purchase a larger home a few years after a first home purchase. Buying a home in popular markets increases the likelihood of making money on a first home.

Affordable list prices: One of the biggest barriers to homeownership is affordability. Home owners not only have to be able afford a monthly mortgage payment, but have enough saved for a down payment. 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.

Supply of inventory: Inventory shortages can often spark bidding wars between buyers where investors or buyers with more income can price out first-time buyers. Markets with a steady supply of inventory are less likely to involve bidding wars.

Reasonable time on market: Median age of inventory is a clear indicator of demand in a market. High demand is another factor that prompts bidding wars and makes it difficult for first-timers to get the home of their dreams.

Additionally, first-time home buyers should consider the specific amount of time a home has been on the market, they may have an opportunity for a better deal as sometimes sellers are required to price homes more competitively in order to close.

Steady employment: Unemployment rates affect all aspects of the economy, including first-time buyers. In order to pay for their mortgages, new buyers need to work and hold steady jobs in markets that support their job.

Top 10 markets for first-time home buyers for 2014

Listing Price
Total Listings Median Age of InventoryUnemployment rate

(from December)
Pittsburgh$135,000 11,0261285.70%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater$169,90021,062885.90%
Philadelphia, Pa.-N.J.(N.J.)$174,900 10,656 1416.40%
Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas$175,000 8,433 675.40%
Orlando$191,900 13,425 815.50%
Jacksonville$198,0009,787 955.60%
Philadelphia, Pa.-N.J.(Pa.) $219,000 21,909 21 6.40%
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. $227,500 9,435 984.90%
Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.$244,900 23,654 59 6.20%

Tampa Bay among best housing markets for first-time buyers 03/27/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2014 3:20pm]
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