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